FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas redshirt freshman DB Jalen Catalon earned Jim Thorpe Award Player of the Week recognition after making 12 tackles with an interception and a forced fumble in the Razorbacks 24-13 win over Tennessee, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced Thursday. He is the second Razorback to earn the weekly award this year, joining redshirt freshman DB Hudson Clark.
On Tennessee’s final offensive play, Catalon registered his second interception of the season, picking off QB Harrison Bailey’s throw in the end zone, thwarting the Volunteers comeback attempt. The Mansfield, Texas native registered 10 of his 12 tackles in the first quarter while also forcing a fumble. He was part of Razorback defense that held Tennessee to 107 passing yards, the Volunteers lowest since 2017 against Alabama (44 yards).
This season, Catalon has posted three 10+ tackle performances and leads the team with 36 solo tackles while ranking third in total tackles (58). Since 2000, the defensive back’s 58 total tackles are the most by an SEC freshman through the season’s first six games. He is the only FBS freshman to record 50+ tackles and multiple interceptions this season.
Catalon and Clark (3), make up the only freshman duo in the country on the same team to each register multiple interceptions this year. Arkansas leads the nation with 12 interceptions, which is the Hogs most in a season since 2014 (12).
The redshirt freshman captured SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career earlier this week.
The Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the best defensive back in college football based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The award was established in 1986 and is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
The Hogs travel to Florida for the first time since 2013 this weekend on Saturday, Nov. 14 for a 6 p.m. kick off against the Gators on ESPN.