Arkansas names 2011 team captains

The Razorbacks are ready for some football.

Offseason 7-on-7 workouts are over and the Hogs officially got things started by naming their captains for the upcoming season.

On the eve of fall camp, the team voted on captains, and coach Bobby Petrino released the names of the six captains Thursday -- junior running back Knile Davis, junior quarterback Tyler Wilson, senior wide receiver Jarius Wright, senior defensive end Jake Bequette, senior linebacker Jerry Franklin and senior safety/linebacker Jerico Nelson.

You probably read through that list and didn't stop, but upon further review, when you see "Tyler Wilson," your eyebrows have to rise a little.

For starters, if you're an Arkansas fan, it must feel pretty good to know that the players have that much faith and confidence in the first-year starter. Everyone who knows a lick about the SEC has heard -- or seen -- Wilson's breakout performance when he replaced Ryan Mallett against Auburn last season and threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns. But there was still concern if he'd be able to sustain that type of play with all the pressure on him.

According to his teammates, he should.

"The thing about Tyler is he gets better every day," wide receiver Cobi Hamilton said Wednesday. "It's real funny to go out there and watch him because he gets better every day. You can tell by the vocal leadership and everything he does by his movements every day. I think he'll be all right and he'll have a great season.

"He's opened up a lot since Ryan left, and everybody sees that and everybody knows that he's going to the be the man this year. We're all behind Tyler, and we have his back."

The second thing you should take from this is that Petrino's not-so-well-kept secret is probably out -- that Wilson is Arkansas' starting quarterback.

Still, Petrino insists that Wilson is very much battling it out with sophomore Brandon Mitchell, but he sounds so close to handing the offense off to Wilson.

"Tyler has an opportunity to do a very, very good job for us," Petrino said. "He's been in the offense for four years now. He's done a good job when he's come in games. We all saw what he did in the Auburn game last year. But also the next week, when we had that marathon game with Ole Miss, the two lightning delays, Tyler came in and finished the game and converted some tough third downs and helped us win the ballgame. Been very impressed with the way he's prepared in the offseason, the leadership role that he's working to take over."

And Arkansas is looking to take over the SEC. The expectations are high for the Hogs and they expect to garner elite-level respect this season.

"I don't really want to say that anybody fears us, but I do think we are on the level with top-named schools now," Wright said. "When people see Arkansas they are going to game plan a lot and very smart against us."