In my article on receivers I mentioned the degree to which Arkansas has become known as a "run-first" team throughout the years. It's not easy, therefore, to get a "rocket arm" kind of guy to come to Arkansas.
If you look at NFL QB draft results, you will not see it littered with QB's from Arkansas. Most of the quarterbacks that have passed through Arkansas have been known for their ability to hand the ball to someone else.
Sure, there are quarterbacks that had greater potential. Quinn Grovey was athletic. Matt Jones was certainly athletic and creative on the fly but his form was terrible. Although he was a starter for four years, he was never developed.
Clint Stoerner was pretty good but never realized his potential due to the slant in play-calling towards the run. Mitch Mustain could have been a star at Arkansas. Pettiness, bad guidance from his mother, and an inflated sense of his talent drove him away. He now warms the bench at "Quarterback U" (USC).
The Arkansas QB situation was so poor over the last few years that running back Darren McFadden, who occasionally played QB in the Wild Hog formation, was more productive on a per pass attempt than the starting QB.
In fact, had Ryan Mallett not grown up in Texarkana and had the Razorbacks not given him hope of a passing attack by bringing in Petrino, he might automatically have been added to the list of former QB's.
But things are apparently changing in Fayetteville on this front too.
Arkansas has really never been known for having a great backup QB. They simply didn't need one to just hand the ball to someone else.
Petrino, however, is developing Tyler Wilson as a very able backup. So not only will Arkansas have a top notch starting quarterback this year, which has been missing, but they will also have an effective backup.
Who knows whether Mallett will be mentioned by the ESPN talking heads alongside names like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, or Sam Bradford. However, if he lives up to his potential he will make Arkansas more of a passing threat in the eyes of recruits.
The Razorbacks will then have the cache to land a guy a year or two down the road that will be in that type of conversation.
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