FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas senior linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool and third-year sophomore safety Jalen Catalon were all named Monday to national football awards preseason watch lists.
Middle linebacker Morgan of Greenwood and weakside linebacker Pool of Lucas, Texas were named to the Butkus Award Watch List.
Catalon of Mansfield, Texas was named to the Thorpe Watch List.
Named for University of Illinois College Famer and Chicago Bears NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, the Butkus Award is postseason awarded to the nation’s best linebacker.
First-team All-SEC All-SEC and second-team All-American last year and as originally a walk-on the 2020 runner-up for the Burlsworth Award honoring the nation’s best player that originally was a walk-on, Morgan also is on the Chuck Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List that in December will honor the nation’s best defensive player.
Totaling 111 tackles, 7.5 for lost yardage, in nine games for the 3-7 Razorbacks, he missed one with a knee injury, Morgan tied for the national lead in tackles per game averaging 12.3.
Morgan intercepted one pass, returned for a touchdown, broke up five others and was credited with one quarterback hurry.
Second-team All-SEC in 2020, Pool logged 101 tackles in nine games last season with 6.5 for lost yardage while averaging a nationally second leading 11.2 tackles per game including a career high 20 tackles in the 21-14 victory at Mississippi State.
For the Thorpe Award, named for Jim Thorpe considered by many as the greatest all-time athlete as an Olympic decathlon champion, college football All-American and pro football and Major League baseball player, and postseason honoring the nation’s best defensive back, Catalon also presents impressive credentials.
In 2020 Catalon made 99 tackles, averaging 9.9 per game, intercepted three passes, one returned for a touchdown, broke up four passes, forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble.
Arkansas begins preseason practice Aug. 6 and opens its season at 1 p.m. Sept. 4 hosting the Rice Owls at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.