Fayetteville, Ark. – Three Arkansas Razorback freshman were named to the All-Freshman SEC Coaches Team on Thursday, safety Rohan Gaines, linebacker Otha Peters, and linebacker A.J. Turner.
Redshirt safety Rohain Gaines (Bainbridge, Geo.) was second on the Razorbacks in total tackles with 75, placing No. 27 overall in the SEC in tackles. Gaines averaged 6.25 tackles per game with four pass breakups, one quarterback hurry, and one forced fumble.
After spring practices Gaines was not in the immediate picture for playing time but come fall camp the All-SEC Freshman fought for a spot on the field. Eric Bennett, Alan Turner, and Jerry Mitchell were all listed ahead of Gaines at strong safety or free safety along with starting free safety/linebacker Ross Rasner. The redshirt freshman appeared in all 12 Arkansas games for the Hogs and appears to have a bright future ahead of him on the Razorbacks squad.
Otha Peters came to Arkansas from Covington, La., as a last minute flip from his earlier commitment to University of Tennessee. Peters was highly sought after national recruit and proved to be a much needed addition to the Razorback squad filling in for injured linebackers Alonzo Highsmith, Kiero Small, Tank Wright, and later suspended Terrell Williams.
Peters was tied for 12th on the team in total tackles with 32 playing in 10 games and eventually taking over as a starter in the South Carolina game. Peters reportedly played much of the year less than 100 percent due to a groin injury.
Little has been made public about Peters’ postseason surgery to repair a groin injury on Nov. 26. On Dec. 2 Peters tweeted that he will be 100 percent by the end of January beginning of February.
A.J. Turner (Lepanto, Ark.) was rated as the second best prospect in the state of Arkansas in the 2012 high school recruiting class. Turner was fifth on the team in total tackles with 53, registered 3.5 tackles for a loss with one sack.
The stud freshman played in all 12 games with six total starts.
The depletion of Arkansas linebackers due to graduation (4) should ensure Peters and Turner as starters in 2013.
Complete list of Freshman All-SEC Team:
Offense: Freshman All-SEC
TE – Jerell Adams, South Carolina
OL – John Theus, Georgia
OL – D.J. Humphries, Florida
OL – Brandon Shell, South Carolina
OL – Vadal Alexander, LSU
C – Ryan Kelly, Alabama
WR – Amari Cooper, Alabama
WR – Mike Evans, Texas A&M
QB – Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB – Todd Gurley, Georgia
RB – T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
AP – Trey Williams, Texas A&M
Defense: Freshman All-SEC
DL – Dante Fowler, Florida
DL – Jonathan Bullard, Florida
DL – Issac Gross, Ole Miss
DL – D.J. Pettway, Alabama
LB – Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
LB – Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
LB – A.J. Turner, Arkansas*
LB – Otha Peters, Arkansas*
LB – Antonio Morrison, Florida*
DB – Jalen Collins, LSU
DB – T.J. Gurley, South Carolina
DB – Rohan Gaines, Arkansas
DB – LaDarrell McNeil, Tennessee
Special Teams: Freshman All-SEC
PK – Andrew Baggett, Missouri
P – Landon Foster, Kentucky
RS – Trey Williams, Texas A&M
* Denotes tie in voting