FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Senior center and team captain Travis Swanson has been named a first-team All-American by USA Today, it was announced Wednesday.
Swanson is the third first-team All-America center in program history, joining Jonathan Luigs in 2007 and Rodney Brand in 1969, and head coach Bret Bielema's third straight center to earn first-team All-America honors. Swanson's recognition is his fourth in three days this week. Monday, he was announced as one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy and a first-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press. On Tuesday, it was announced he had been named a second-team all-conference performer by the SEC coaches.
Swanson earned a grade of 80 percent or higher eight times, including 90 percent vs. No. 10 Texas A&M, and registered 74 knockdown blocks in 2013. The Kingwood, Texas, native led an offensive line that blocked as Alex Collins became the 10th true freshman in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards and as Collins and Jonathan Williams became the second Razorback duo to each reach at least 900 rushing yards in one season. The offensive line, which featured two true freshmen starting the final eight games, also broke the single-season school record by only allowing 8.0 sacks. Arkansas leads the SEC and is tied for second in the NCAA with an average of 0.67 sacks allowed per game. The Razorbacks' average of one sack allowed for every 37.63 pass attempts is the best in the conference and seventh in the nation.
Swanson started all 50 games of his career, the first Razorback to start 50 consecutive games and just the second to start 50 in a career. He was elected as a team captain in 2012 and 2013 and is the 11th Razorback to serve consecutive seasons as a captain. Swanson has accepted an invitation to the 2014 Senior Bowl and will participate in the nation's top showcase of senior talent for NFL evaluators with a week of practices leading up to the Jan. 25 game in Mobile, Ala.