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Hogs’ DB Catalon, LB Pool on watch list for Nagurski Trophy for best defensive player

Razorback sophomore defensive back Jalen Catalon (#1) from Mansfield, TX returns a fumble against Alabama last December at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, AR.

by Oliver Griggs

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas defensive back Jalen Catalon and linebacker Bumper Pool were named to the preseason watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented annually to the best defensive player in college football.

Catalon and Pool are two of 85 defensive standouts on this year’s watch list. The Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce finalists for the 2022 trophy on Nov. 16, and the winner will be unveiled on Dec. 5 at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time.

Catalon enters the 2022 campaign as one of the nation’s top defensive backs despite missing most of last year due to a season-ending injury. The Mansfield, Texas, native finished eighth on the team in total tackles (46) with 1.5 tackles for loss despite playing in only six games. His four pass breakups tied for third most on the Razorbacks.

Pool, meanwhile, led the Hogs in total tackles with 125 (45 solo), his second consecutive season with 100+ total tackles. The Lucas, Texas, product is one of college football’s premier tackling machines, totaling the second-most stops (320) among all FBS defenders since 2019, and enters the 2022 campaign with 349 career tackles – ninth most all-time at Arkansas – to his name.

Arkansas kicks off the season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, against Cincinnati on ESPN. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at (479) 575-5151.

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