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OPINION | WALLY HALL: No denying Burks was one of best Hogs ever

by Wally Hall | December 12, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.


It is understandable some fans are frustrated with Treylon Burks' decision.

They have come to count him.

No one in America had bigger, softer hands to cradle tough catches than Burks.

No one outran more defensive backs, even those with an angle and with Alabama on their jerseys.

No one was better.

Treylon Burks was the best wide receiver in America this season, and that's why yours truly voted him No. 1 on my Biletnikoff Award ballot, the award that goes to the best receiver, except for this season.

Burks didn't make the final three in the voting.

His team was successful but just not as successful it needed to be pick up individual awards on the national level.

One hand catches or two, no one was better than Burks.

No one.

The NFL realizes that someone whispered in his ear and asked if he wanted to make more than $12 million next year or did he want to risk more injuries.

Yes, more.

Burks played most of the season hurt. Not injured, but hurt.

He knew by heart where the medical tent was on the sidelines. He knew how to get there and what to do so he could get back on the field and help his Arkansas Razorbacks.

Being frustrated is understanding, being angry is not.

Hours before Burks announced that he was not playing in the Outback Bowl and would forego next season to declare for the NFL, yours truly suggested to another reporter about the possibility of Burks opting out.

Understand players have been doing this for more than two decades. It just didn't receive the attention it does now and it has become more prevalent.

Especially among first-round NFL Draft picks, and that's what Burks is.

He's an elite player about to make a big impact on some team in the NFL.

The 6-3, 225-pound receiver with deceptive speed is slated by the experts to go late in the first round. Once he shows what he's capable of doing at the NFL combine, he'll move up.

Each move up is more money, but this isn't just about money for him and his mom, Sha'Freda Strickland.

When Burks tweeted out about his decision, he said he had prayed about it and felt it was time to go.

This model citizen, good student, and the best receiver in the country went to his Lord for guidance, and he was at peace with the decision.

Maybe the question should for all those who are upset with Burks, what would you do in the exact same situation?

Burks spent this season in pain, and most likely is still not 100%, but his 80% was so good that he looked like something he wasn't, the picture of health.

He gave his all for the Razorbacks for 32 games, and the 21-year-old Warren proud warrior reached the fork in the road. With spiritual guidance and no doubt earthly influence, he made the first decision in his life that some are claiming was selfish.

This is a young man who turned down LSU, Michigan and numerous others to be a Razorback and gave 100% every day to make his home state proud.

He succeeded beyond expectations.

Right here his statistics could be mentioned, but they won't because he didn't play for individual accolades, he played for the Razorbacks.

OK, one stat: Of the 22 touchdowns the Razorbacks had receiving this season, he caught half of them.

Quarterback KJ Jefferson, nor head coach Sam Pittman, nor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, has said one negative word about Burks' decision.

They know first hand, on a day-to-day basis what he has done for the Razorbacks.

Treylon Burks was the best receiver in college football this season, one of the greatest in Hog history, and he should be remembered for all he gave.


Print Headline: No denying Burks was one of best Hogs ever

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