‘Tis the season for hype.
Every fall camp, it seems, every potential all-conference player gets his own slickly produced highlight reel blasted into every corner of the sports universe.
The University of Arkansas, of course, has pumped out its fair share of these over the years. But there’s something different about the one it recently made for Treylon Burks, the wide receiver many believe is poised for a breakout sophomore season.
In terms of overall strength/size/speed physical freakishness and sheer talent, Burks is the most exciting prospect that the state of Arkansas has produced since Darren McFadden.
That was clear in 2019. “He looked like a guy that looked like he belonged, even as a freshman, and he had the confidence and wasn’t intimidated by anything,” said Richard Davenport, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s recruiting reporter. “And you saw a guy that had special talents and he’s going to honestly progress over the next few years. And I think I’d be surprised if he’s not one of the best when he leaves Arkansas.”
No Razorback receivers outside of Boo Williams have ever combined a similar kind of size and strength as Burks, and Burks is faster than Williams was. Marcus Monk and Greg Childs were also great tall UA receivers, but they weren’t as strong or quite as fast as Burks.
So, given all the potential here, it’s no surprise that Burks’ best Hogs hype video so far would crackle with more electricity than normal. It gets off to a sizzling start with the voiceover of a broadcaster discussing how he’s told only two things come out of Warren, Ark. — tomatoes and great football players.
Then we see a series of of Burks’ most impressive plays from a 2019 season in which he caught 29 passes for 475 yard and finished as one of the top three freshmen in the nation in terms of 20+ yard plays.
The montages created for his incredible two-handed catch around the neck of a Mississippi State defender are masterful, as is the way a Mark Jackson “Mama, there goes that man” snippet is dropped in for good measure.
See the entire clip here:
Treylon Burks in 2020
But there is one thing conspicuously absent in the clips. Not once does Burks hit pay dirt.
For the Razorbacks to upset a few SEC foes this season, though, he’s going to need to score a lot more.
ESPN’s SEC analyst Cole Cubelic predicts the 6’3″, 230 pound Burks will have a big season and emerge as an SEC star. “He’s a guy that can get over the top. He’s the guy that can hurt you in the open field. Really good hands. Good route runner.”
“When you’re going to talk about guys who know how to separate and be different and offer something extra, you got to have explosiveness. And that’s what I see with him. I mean he’s a guy who has elite explosive ability. And I think they’re going to find ways to utilize that.”
This fall camp, Burks himself has said that his top individual goals are sharpening his route running and trimming up a little bit. His ultimate goal is to develop into a receiver who is the same caliber as his favorite pro, Julio Jones.
He said he’s looking forward to playing in Kendal Briles’ offensive system because it’s the same kind run by Bo Hembree, his high school coach from Warren.
What Teammates Think of Treylon Burks
One of the biggest testaments to Burks’ ability and potential comes from the way his teammates gush about him. That says he’s not only talented, but also a genuinely good guy whom they enjoy in the locker room.
Here’s what Hogs receiver Trey Knox had to say a few weeks ago:
“He’s very physical. That’s one thing that I like about him, he’s a big body and he’s fast. It’s a mismatch. And you can’t cover a guy that moves that fast and is that big.”
“Seeing the improvements that he’s made in and out of his cuts, breaking down, being able to get out of the top of his route is just amazing given he’s 230. And just watching him move and catch the ball and run after the catch and how fast he is, that’s what he brings to the game,” Knox said in a press conference.
“So I think we’re alike in route running. He might be a little faster than me. Not too much. [Knox grinned] Just the way we catch, the way we run our routes, the way we like to use our bodies to get open.”
As for how he and Burks differ, Knox said: “His run after the catch is just ridiculous. I mean, you see what he does with the ball in his hands on punt return. He’s just gifted in that aspect.”
“I’m more of a head-ball type guy in the red zone. He’s more of a get-over type, middle, catch the open ball, touchdown. So, I think that’s how we’re different. But that’s what makes our room elite, because we have so many guys that can do different things.”
Another one of those guys is Mike Woods, the elderly statesman of the wide receiving group as a junior. Woods predicts Burks is going to score at least one kickoff or punt return touchdown this year.
Below Woods goes over that and every Treylon Burks highlight from 2019 in great detail, starting at 3:08:
Just look at Mike’s face.
That says everything you need to know about Burks’ abilities.
Plus, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette recruiting editor Richard Davenport talks about the unlimited upside of Treylon Burks at receiver:
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