FAYETTEVILLE — Warren has turned out some great wide receivers, but Treylon Burks may be the best to ever wear the Lumberjacks uniform.
Burks is a junior at Arkansas and is on several preseason watch lists for various awards. Burks has played in 20 games in his two years at Arkansas with 18 starts. In 2020 in nine games, Burks caught 51 passes for 820 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed 15 times for 75 yards. The 6-foot-3 Burks will offer KJ Jefferson and the Arkansas quarterbacks an outstanding target in the passing game. Burks appears to have gotten even bigger than last season.
“Honestly you can see we put our trust in the nutritionists and strength staff,” Burks said. “And as you all can see it shows a bunch. We come in the offseason and we worked hard running, lifting weights, It didn’t matter, bench press, squats, all that went up. And we just can’t thank the strength staff enough. I’m still at about 227, 225.”
Burks and the Razorbacks went 3-7 last year against an all-SEC schedule. Some are expecting better things this season. Burks talked about what he feels makes this a better team.
“I honestly can say just by how close we’ve gotten, the brotherhood of the team, that we’ve started linking arms together,” Burks said. “Offense, defense, special teams we see that we are each other’s brother. Outside of football you see the offensive players with defensive players hanging out and you can just tell it’s a different environment.”
Burks went into detail a little more about his expectations for the team.
“Honestly, for me, I just want the team to go out there and play our hearts out,” Burks said. “For everybody to play for the team, and not for themselves. And everything that everybody wants will happen. If it’s to go the NFL, set receiving records, running back records, all of that. It’ll just happen.”
Playing wide receiver in the SEC means you are going against many of the nation’s best defensive backs. But for Burks that starts in practice and his respect for safety Jalen Catalon.
“I can start by saying when I run routes against the defense and it’s a team thing, I’m always looking out for Jalen because I’m not trying to be on that highlight tape of someone getting knocked out,” Burks said smiling. “So, I kind of hold my water when I go across the middle. But Jalen, but I honestly see the way Jalen works on the defensive side of the ball and I try to mimic that. Run around, lead the offense aside like I’m supposed to just like he does. Obviously he’s a wonderful player and I’m glad to have him on my team.”
Arkansas’ basketball team advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. Burks was a fan of the team and even applied that to the football squad.
“When I was watching the basketball team and how they went from nothing to something so quickly, it just made me think ‘why can’t that be us?'” Burks said. “I would tell certain people in my receiver group and the O-linemen, ‘that could be us, all we have to do is just put our head down and go to work and not worry about what the outside noise is saying.’ Anything is possible.”
The media in the SEC picked the Razorbacks sixth in the West in its preseason poll. Burks isn’t concerned wit that.
“We too much don’t worry about where people pick us to be,” Burks said. “People picked us not to win at all last year. Who cares? We go out and play for us and the Arkansas nation. I think that’s all that matters to us.”
The NIL is something everyone is talking about surrounding college athletics this fall. Burks talked about it’s playing out with the Hogs.
“I can use myself and him for example,” Burks said. “Once we got our NIL deal, it was like, ‘Okay, we got that but we’ve still got a team right here, too. And we didn’t put that before the team. I just say, as from seeing it from every, like from my standpoint, nobody has put the NIL things before the team, and that’s good to see. And going into the season knowing that nobody’s worried about, ‘Oh, I got this much money, I got this much money,’ it’s just going to make the team better by attacking it like we do.”
With Sam Pittman, Kendal Briles and Kenny Guiton expecting him to be one of the leaders this season Burks has gotten more comfortable with that idea.
“My last two years, I usually wouldn’t talk,” Burks said. “I don’t talk much, but I can say that I’ve started to speak louder, you know. Address people that aren’t, If he’s not giving more, ‘Hey, come on, like, give just a little more for this person that isn’t, that can’t do it.’ I can say it has helped me. I’m starting to lead more by talking, as I can say. So, that’s just how I’m leading.”
While COVID is still causing issues in sports, the uncertainty that was hanging over college sports last year isn’t the same this time. Burks is proud of that.
“Honestly, just knowing that we’ve all been able to get vaccinated and that helping us,” Burks said. “I mean, we’re still worried about COVID because it’s still here, obviously, but it’s just that thought of last year, ‘Man, if I get COVID I’m not going to be able to play this week. If he gets COVID, dang, that’s going to hurt the team.’ But just knowing that most of us are vaccinated, we’re worried about winning and football, being a family. That’s good to see.”
Arkansas will return to the practice fields today.