By Evin Demirel
Arkansas junior De’Jon Harris has racked up the highest tackles total in back-to-back seasons among all Razorback players since Sam Olajubutu a dozen years ago. Both linebackers rank among the best Razorback tacklers of the SEC era.
Here’s a ranking of Hogs when it comes to highest total tackle seasons since 1992:
10. Ken Hamlin
Buckle up. You’re about to see a lot more of this all-time Razorback free safety great in the rankings ahead. This year, Hamlin became the first freshman to lead the team in tackles. Jerry Franklin would follow in his footsteps eight years later.
9. Three-way tie between Mark Smith (in 1995), Sam Olajubutu (in 2006) and De’Jon Harris (in 2017)
8. Tony Bua
Like Hamlin, get ready to see a lot more of this superb, hard-hitting linebacker ahead.
7. Three-way tie between Sam Olajubutu (in 2005), Matt Hewitt (in 2007) and De’Jon Harris (in 2018)
6. Two-way tie between Ken Hamlin (in 2001) and Tony Bua (in 2003)
You just know Razorback fans read those names and get a little misty-eyed thinking about those hard, hard-hitting days.
4. Tony Bua
Man, Bua and Ken Hamlin sure made a mean one-two punch amount the best Razorback tacklers ever. For someone who ended up the Razorbacks’ ALL-TIME LEADER in tackles, you’d have thought he led his team in tackles one season. But check the list below. Amazingly, he didn’t lead the team in tackles in a single season.
3. Caleb Miller
In the SEC era, the best Arkansas Razorback defenses were in the 1998 and 1999. Those teams finished third and fourth in the SEC in points allowed, respectively. In the following years, the program drifted back to the middle of the conference pack defensively, but it wasn’t for lack of effort from the likes of Miller, Bua, Hamlin and Jermaine Petty.
Don’t let the below picture from Caleb Miller’s abandoned Twitter profile fool you.
Back in the day, he was a bad, bad man…
Did Petty get 150 or 140 tackles this season? Some sources say 140, while this official Razorback stat sheet says 150. Whatever the total was, it was impressive — especially when that total included 15 tackles for loss. Petty became the rare Razorback defensive player in the SEC era to earn All-American honors.
And who can forget Petty’s game-sealing tackle here?
1. Ken Hamlin
What a career. In three years, Hamlin set the all-time Razorback career tackles record. Granted, Bua took it for himself the next season, but Bua had four years to work with.
You may be wondering: What about the old-school SWC Razorback greats? The Steve Atwaters, “Thumper” Harrises and Ronnie Cavenesses of the world? Oh, that Best Of Arkansas Sports post is coming. And when it comes you, dear reader, you don’t want to miss it!
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Top Razorback Tacklers Year By Year (SEC Era)
|Year||Name||Position||Total Tackles||Solo Tackles||Assisted Tackles|
|2013||Alan Turner Jr.||S||97||37||60|