Former Georgia quarterback, turned SEC Network analyst, DJ Shockley had the opportunity to preview the Razorbacks and a playmaker on the outside not named Treylon Burks.
“There’s a guy I want to throw to. Big, physical receiver outthere, Trey Knox.”
Knox was known early on in the season to be an impact player when it came to finding the first down marker, being a bruiser and fighting for the ball in the air. At one point, he and fellow true freshman receiver Burks were 1-2 at the top of all freshmen in receiving yardage.
To make things even crazier is Knox recorded a significant amount of production while recovering from a hip injury he suffered during the week two loss to Ole Miss.
Although he was able to put up terrific numbers last season for a true freshman (28 receptions for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns) that injury still lingered. “He put his helmet right on my joint,” Knox said. “It took me really the whole season. I was battling it the whole season. I was taking shots on it week after week after week, and it wasn’t getting fully healed.”
Shockley continued to brag on the strength the Razorbacks have at their boundary position.
“They’ve got a couple of guys at Arkansas that look pretty good,” said Shockley.
You are dang right they look good. Knox is a guy that will high point the ball and Burks is just another kind of player. A once in a generation type of player. If you add in the speedster in rising junior Mike Woods, Arkansas has a formidable wide receiver core. One that could be just as good as the one from 2008-2011.
“A couple of guys (Burks and Knox) that went out and put up big numbers but Trey Knox is a guy that when you look at him he has the size. He has the speed,” said Shockley.
On another note, quarterback play has been the secret to getting the ball to talented receivers since the beginning of time. Since 2017, Arkansas has started nine different t quarterbacks. Now, adding graduate transfer Feleipe Franks, the Razorbacks again have the opportunity to create a special type of offense. The former Georgia quarterback would continue, “Last year he had to fight the QB carousel that Arkansas had with all different types of quarterbacks behind him,” said Shockley.
It was a tough go at quarterback for Arkansas last season. It was much much more mishandled than the quarterback battle of 2001 where five different quarterbacks played. Heck, at least that team went 7-5.
The threat of gaining a first down on each reception will be big for the Hogs who look to be a high powered offense. When things do go stagnant, they will need a guy to step up and make that big catch in crucial moments and that could be in Trey Knox’s favor.
“This guy averaged 13.7 yards a reception and now he has a guy in Feleipe Franks to throw to him. A guy who consistently been in this league and knows where to put the football for those top receivers,” said Shockley
The coaching gene is usually passed down the family tree and it does not fall too far from the tree when it comes to a father son duo. Legendary head coach, Art Briles was able to teach the youngster a thing or two about generating offense at a high level. In each of his previous four stops, Briles makes an instant impact at each place. Under Pittman, you have hopes that the physicality will return amongst the trenches. The same physicality will be required the the receiver position, too, that will definitely be needed if the Hogs want to have a shot of putting aside their 19 game SEC losing streak.
“Along with Kendal Briles, you have Sam Pittman now as the head coach. They want to be physical. They want to run the football. So on the outside you have some one-on-one matchups. Trey Knox is going to be a guy to make some plays,” said Shockley.
Arkansas has the opportunity and some pieces and place to be much improved this season. Will Knox be able to capitalize off a good freshman season to help bring Arkansas football back? We will see in just eight days!