Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
The Recruiting Guy:
Starkel commits to Hogs, immediately eligible in 2019
FILE — Texas A&M's Nick Starkel (17) looks to pass against Wake Forest during the first half of the Belk Bowl NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Arkansas now has two graduate transfers at quarterback with former Texas A&M quarterback Nick Starkel announcing his commitment to the Razorbacks on Monday after making an official visit over the weekend.
Starkel, 6-3, 215 pounds, decided to leave the Aggies as a graduate transfer in January and now plans to enroll at Arkansas in the summer. He will be immediately eligible for his final two years.
He said the decsion to be a Razorback was easy after spending time with coach Chad Morris and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock.
“It was a decision once I got on campus and got to see coach Morris and coach Craddock in action and just really sit with them, it just made it clear that was where I was meant to be," Starkel said.
The family atmosphere at Arkansas was shown in a way Starkel hasn’t seen before.
“Outside of their offices they have the coach’s name, but not just a picture of that coach, which most schools don’t even put a picture of that coach, but they put a picture of that coach and their family together,” Starkel said. “That’s something I thought was really cool. It drives home they’re trying to be a family.”
Starkel passed for 3,091 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior at Liberty Christian in Argyle, Texas and was rated a 4-star prospect by ESPN. He was recruited by Morris before he inked with Texas A&M in 2016.
He started started five games as a redshirt freshman while completing 123 of 205 passes for 1,793 yards and 14 touchdowns. He set the freshman record for attempts, completions and passing yards in the 2017 Belk Bowl against Wake Forest by completing 42 of 63 passes for 499 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Starkel’s respect for Morris is strong.
“He’s a down-to-earth guy that loves his family and loves his players and loves football,” Starkel said. “I’m excited to play for him.”
After seeing Arkansas’ first spring practice on Friday, Starkel said he knew being a Razorback was the right choice.
“I like they are truly the way they said they are, so that’s when I knew,” Starkel said. “Out there seeing them coach. You have to yell sometimes as a coach, but even the way they did it wasn’t degrading towards any player. It was constructive. It was coaching up football.”
Former SMU quarterback Ben Hicks enrolled at Arkansas in January and is going through spring practice.
Starkel plans to arrive in Fayetteville in June while finishing online classes at Texas A&M and will start working on his masters degree at Arkansas in July. He’s excited to continue his education and football career in northwest Arkansas.
“It was beautiful. I absolutely loved the campus,” Starkel said.
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