2012 Arkansas Football: Three Freshman Earn All-SEC Honors


Nov 03, 2012; Starkville, MS, USA; A big hit by Arkansas Razorbacks safety Rohan Gaines (26) and cornerback Kaelon Kelleybrew (23) breaks up the pass to Mississippi State Bulldogs tight end Malcolm Johnson (6) during the game at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

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