Arkansas Razorbacks head football coach, Bret Bielema, used Twitter to announce his selections as student athletes who would be available at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., July 16-18. Those Razorbacks are Kiero Small, Travis Swanson and Chris Smith. Bios for each of the players is below.
CAREER SUMMARY: Small has appeared in 14 games and made two starts since transferring to Arkansas prior to his junior season. He has one rush for one yard and one touchdown, one reception for seven yards and two kickoff returns for 17 yards.
2012: He played in the season-opening 49-24 win vs. Jacksonville State, helping pave the way for Arkansas to rush for 164 yards and gain 564 yards of total offense. He suffered a season-ending injury in practice the next week and was granted a medical redshirt.
2011: Small saw action in all 13 games and started in the 38-14 win vs. No. 15 Auburn and the 31-28 victory at Vanderbilt. He rushed one time for a one-yard touchdown, caught one seven-yard pass and totaled 17 yards on two kickoff returns. Small also served as the lead blocker for UA’s rushing attack, which ranked third in the SEC by averaging 4.53 yards per carry in conference games and tied for third with a total of 14 rushing touchdowns in SEC play. Running back Dennis Johnson was fourth in the SEC in yards-per-carry average and ranked seventh in the conference in average rushing yards per game. Small caught one pass for seven yards in the season-opening 51-7 win vs. Missouri State. He scored a one-yard rushing touchdown and returned two kickoffs for a total of 17 yards in the 44-17 victory vs. Mississippi State.
BEFORE ARKANSAS: A junior college All-American in 2010, Small played both fullback and linebacker for his Hartnell Community College football team. As a freshman in 2009, Small scored five rushing touchdowns and led the team in tackles with 109 stops en route to Hartnell claiming Coast Conference co-championship honors. In 2010, Small scored one rushing and one receiving touchdown and led the squad in tackles for the second straight season with 120 tackles, including 21 for loss. Small received All-America accolades from the California Community College Football Coaches Association in 2010 and All-California honors in 2009. He was named an All-Coast Conference performer at linebacker in both his seasons at Hartnell. Small’s junior college head coach was Matt Collins, and his high school head coach was Donald Davis. As a high school senior at Cardinal Gibbons in 2006, Small earned second-team all-state accolades from the Maryland Football Coaches Association. Small was also recruited by Cal and Oregon State.
PERSONAL: Born May 1, 1989, he is the son of Johnny Stith and Leslie Mackall. He is majoring in sociology.
CAREER SUMMARY: A 2013 Rimington Trophy candidate, Swanson has started all 38 games of his Razorback career and blocked for three seasons with a 3,000-yard passer, including the first season in school history with a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher in 2010.
2012: He was selected as a team captain, started all 12 games and was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press. The offensive line paved the way as 20 UA or SEC records were broken and Arkansas produced a 1,000-yard receiver in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history and a 3,000-yard passer for the fourth straight year. Quarterback Tyler Wilson led the SEC in passing, while Cobi Hamilton topped the conference in receptions per game and receiving yards per game. Hamilton’s season totals of 90 catches and 1,335 receiving yards broke school records and allowed him to break the UA record for career receptions with 175. In addition, the offensive line allowed 1.0 or fewer sacks in eight games in 2012 and ranked third in the SEC with an average of just 1.58 sacks allowed per game.
2011: He started all 13 games as part of an offensive line that allowed the offense to break 16 game or season school records and produce a 3,000-yard passer for the third straight season. Arkansas led the SEC in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense to become just the fifth different school, and first since 2001, to lead the conference in all three categories in a single season and became the sixth team in conference history, and second since 1992, to lead the SEC in passing offense for three straight seasons. The Razorbacks ranked 13th in the country with their average of 300.7 passing yards per game, 15th in the nation with an average of 36.8 points per game and 29th in the NCAA with an average of 438.1 yards of total offense per game. Quarterback Tyler Wilson broke nine UA records and led the SEC in passing and total offense while becoming the first Razorback to be a first-team All-SEC selection at quarterback. Wide receiver Jarius Wright also earned first-team All-SEC honors after he broke seven school records and led the conference in receiving yards per game with an average of 93.1 to rank 18th in the country and in receiving touchdowns with 12, a total that tied for seventh in the NCAA. The Razorback offense posted the second-best single-season total in school history for completions (299), passing yards (3,909), passing yards per game (300.7), first downs (279) and passing first downs (166) while totaling the third-highest total offense yardage total (5,695) and third-best total offense per play average (6.45).
2010: He started all 13 games for the Razorbacks at center as Arkansas was the only school in the SEC to start the same offensive line every game in 2010. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. The line allowed Arkansas to break 24 game or season school records on offense. He blocked for the first season in UA history with a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher. Quarterback Ryan Mallett set the Arkansas single-season passing yards record with 3,869 and running back Knile Davis posted the fourth-highest single-season rushing yards total in program history with 1,322 yards. The Razorbacks were the only team in the country to boast a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and five 600-yard receivers. Arkansas finished the season first in the SEC and fourth in the NCAA in passing (333.7), becoming just the third team since 1992 to lead the conference in passing in consecutive seasons. The Razorbacks also ranked second in the SEC and ninth in the country in total offense (482.5) and second in the conference and 17th in the NCAA in scoring offense (36.5).
2009: He redshirted and worked out with the Arkansas scout team.
HIGH SCHOOL: Swanson was a first-team all-state selection by the writers and a second-team honoree by the coaches. He was rated as the No. 33 offensive guard by Scout.com and the No. 73 offensive guard by Rivals.com. He was named one of 10 finalists for the Greater Houston Area Offensive Player of the Year and was the only lineman among the finalists. He was coached by Dougald McDougald. He was also recruited by Arizona, Houston, Kansas and Texas Tech.
PERSONAL: Born, Jan. 30, 1991, he is the son of Todd and Gina Swanson. He is majoring in sociology. He was named to the Razorback Honor Roll for his work in the classroom in the fall of 2011.
CAREER SUMMARY: Smith has seen action in 31 games with 15 starts and recorded 86 tackles, 19.0 for loss with 13.0 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, six pass breakups and one forced fumble. His sacks total is tied for 12th on the school’s all-time list. He and Jadeveon Clowney are the only returners in the SEC with 9.0 sacks or more in 2012.
2012: Smith started all 12 games and was named honorable-mention All-SEC after recording 52 tackles, 13.0 for loss with 9.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, four pass breakups and one forced fumble. His tackles for loss total was the seventh-highest single-season output in school history. His average of 0.79 sacks per game ranked fourth in the SEC and 25th in the NCAA, and his average of 1.08 tackles for loss per game tied for fifth in the conference. He recorded a career-high eight tackles, 1.5 for loss with 1.0 sack, two quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and one forced fumble in the 19-15 win vs. Tulsa. He registered the forced fumble on a sack with less than one minute remaining in the game, clinching the victory. He was named SEC co-Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against the Golden Hurricane. He also was named SEC co-Defensive Lineman of the Week after opening the season with a then-career-high-tying six tackles, 1.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, and one quarterback hurry in a 49-24 victory vs. Jacksonville State. He had three tackles, 1.0 for loss with 1.0 sack for a loss of 15 yards, and two quarterback hurries vs. ULM. He made four tackles vs. No. 1 Alabama and had one quarterback hurry vs. Rutgers. He registered five tackles, 1.0 for loss, and one quarterback hurry at Texas A&M. He made five tackles, 1.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks, and two quarterback hurries in the 24-7 win at Auburn and made one tackle and one pass breakup in the next week’s 49-7 victory vs. Kentucky. He had five tackles, 2.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, and one quarterback hurry vs. Ole Miss. He made four tackles, 2.0 for loss with 1.0 sack, at No. 12 South Carolina and had five tackles, 1.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks, and two quarterback hurries at Mississippi State. He ended the season with six tackles, 1.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks, and one pass breakup vs. No. 8 LSU.
2011: He played in all 13 games with three starts and made 31 tackles, 6.0 for loss with 3.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries and one pass breakup. His tackles for loss total was the fourth-highest on the team. He made a career-high six tackles, including 1.0 for loss in his start at No. 3 Alabama. He made four tackles, including 1.0 for loss with 1.0 sack and one quarterback hurry in the first start of his career, a 38-28 victory vs. Troy. He made his third straight start in the come-from-behind 42-38 win vs. No. 14 Texas A&M and made one tackle. He recorded four tackles, including 1.5 for loss with 0.5 sack, in the season-opening 51-7 victory vs. Missouri State. The next week, he made two tackles and had one quarterback hurry in a 52-3 win vs. New Mexico. He recorded two tackles, 0.5 for loss, and one pass breakup in the 38-14 win vs. No. 14 Auburn. He also made two tackles in a 29-24 victory at Ole Miss. He made one tackle in the 31-28 win at Vanderbilt and in the 44-28 victory vs. No. 10 South Carolina. He made three tackles in a 49-7 win vs. Tennessee. He collected two tackles in the 44-17 victory vs. Mississippi State. At No. 1 LSU, he made one solo tackle. He ended his sophomore season with two tackles, including a career-high 2.0 for loss with a career-high 2.0 sacks, in the 29-16 win vs. No. 11 Kansas State in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
2010: He appeared in six games for the Razorbacks and finished the season with three tackles and one pass breakup. Smith made one tackle in his collegiate debut, Arkansas’ season-opening 44-3 win vs. Tennessee Tech. He also saw action the next week in the Razorbacks’ 31-7 win vs. ULM. He made one tackle in the 24-17 win vs. Texas A&M. He also saw action in the Razorbacks’ 41-20 victory at No. 18 South Carolina and in their 49-14 win vs. Vanderbilt. He recorded one tackle and one pass breakup in UA’s 58-21 victory vs. UTEP.
HIGH SCHOOL: Smith was considered one of the best defensive recruits in the state of North Carolina, helping West Rowan High School to back-to-back state titles and a 30-game winning streak. As a senior, he earned Associated Press all-state honors for the second straight year. Heading into the playoffs that season, he had collected 98 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 36 QB hurries, 11 pass breakups, four tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and one recovered fumble. In 2009, he helped his team to a 16-0 record and a Class 3A state championship earning MVP honors in the title game. He followed that up by being named the defensive MVP for the North Carolina team in the North Carolina-South Carolina all-star game and was invited to participate in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl he had seven tackles and one sack. As a junior in 2008, Smith tallied 117 tackles, 25 sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups, and 44 QB hurries. In addition to repeating as all-conference and all-county selections, he was named to the Associated Press All-State Team. With Smith’s help on defense, West Rowan went 15-1 and defeated West Craven in the NCHSAA 3A State Championship. Over his last two seasons, Smith amassed more than 200 tackles and 48 sacks. Smith was ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com. He was coached in high school by Scott Young. He was also recruited by Arizona, Clemson, East Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Penn State, Wisconsin and South Carolina.
PERSONAL: Born Feb. 11, 1992, he is the son of William and Sherry Smith. He is enrolled in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.