FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas safety Jalen Catalon has been named an Associated Press preseason All-American.
The redshirt junior earned a spot on the AP’s second-team defense on Monday morning, adding to his extensive list of preseason honors. Catalon, also tabbed a preseason All-American by The Athletic, Athlon, CBS Sports/247Sports, Phil Steele, Pro Football Focus and Sporting News, is on preseason watch lists for the Jim Thorpe Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award.
Catalon enters the 2022 campaign as one of the nation’s top defensive backs despite missing most of last season due to an injury. The Mansfield, Texas, native finished eighth on the team in total tackles (46) with 1.5 tackles for loss in just six games. His four pass breakups tied for third most on the Razorbacks.
In his last full season, Catalon was a first-team All-SEC honoree and a Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-American following a breakout 2020 campaign. He played in all 10 games with nine starts as a redshirt freshman, logging 99 total tackles with 2.0 tackles for loss, three interceptions, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Catalon averaged 9.9 tackles per game, tied for the FBS freshman lead and fourth among all SEC defenders, and was the only FBS freshman to post 95+ tackles and at least three interceptions on the year.
No. 19 Arkansas kicks off the season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, against No. 23 Cincinnati on ESPN.