Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and Biletnikoff Award.
Spring Glance: Quarterbacks
Arkansas quarterback Cole Kelley (15) warms up before an NCAA college football game Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Notable Returners: Austin Allen, Ty Storey, Cole Kelley
Who's Gone: None
Who's New: Daulton Hyatt
Austin Allen started all 13 games last season and played well for much of the year. Allen is the clear front-runner this spring, which means much of the focus will be on developing a strong No. 2 behind him. The Razorbacks had only one first down in seven drives led by back-up quarterback Ty Storey last season, and none in the final six drives he led against Alcorn State and Auburn.
Position Leader: Austin Allen, R-Sr.
Allen had a good first year as Arkansas' starting quarterback, which included game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime of his first two starts against Louisiana Tech and TCU. This spring mostly will be about knocking off any rust and continuing to work on the mental aspects of quarterback, like reading coverages and changing calls at the line of scrimmage. Practicing against a 3-4 defense for the first time, Allen will have a good chance to work on his reads. He threw 15 interceptions last season, two more than his older brother Brandon combined to throw in his final two seasons at Arkansas.
One to Watch: Cole Kelley, R-Fr.
The 6-7, 258-pound quarterback elicits some flashbacks to Ryan Mallett both in stature and in arm strength. Kelley showed he could throw the ball during preseason practices last August, but his passing game needed work. In particular, Kelley's footwork seemed heavy as he went through his reads. Kelley pushed Ty Storey as the Razorbacks' No. 2 quarterback until the final week of the preseason. Less experience in the program and the opportunity to redshirt caused Kelley to fall short of Storey on the depth chart, but Kelley still was able to travel with the team on road trips.
Freshman Daulton Hyatt is going through spring practice after enrolling for the spring semester. Hyatt was rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and the No. 9 pocket passer in the class of 2017. He'll likely redshirt the 2017 season.
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.