Sam Pittman provides updates on Arkansas football's quarterback, running back battles

Arkansas quarterback Taylen Green passes during practice Thursday, March 14, 2024, at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. (Andy Shupe/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Before his football team began spring practices, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said he wanted to have a starting quarterback named by the time the Razorbacks finished their 15-practice schedule.

When asked for an update on the quarterback battle Thursday following the team’s seventh practice of the spring, Pittman said no starter has been named out of fairness. 

But each time the Razorbacks have gone into team segments of practice since practices began March 7, it has been Boise State transfer Taylen Green who has taken the field with the first team. That is something Pittman said likely won't change.

“I mean, you [reporters] have been at practice…. but we've got to wait until the end of spring and then that's what we'll do,” Pittman said. “We'll continue to practice probably about like what we're doing right now in the rotation.”

WATCH: Sam Pittman speaks with reporters following Arkansas football's 7th spring practice

As Green has worked with the first team, Jacolby Criswell and Malachi Singleton have split time with the second team. Freshman KJ Jackson has gotten most reps with the third unit.

Pittman also said before the spring schedule started that he wanted to find an “ace in the hole” at running back.

When asked if he knows if any of the tailbacks could a be 1,000-yard rusher, Pittman said he was not sure, but instead pointed to a different projection. He said he could have a better idea of who his lead back could be following the team’s scrimmage Saturday at 9 a.m.

“I think we have a stable of backs,” Pittman said. “Let me say this: I feel a lot better about our running back situation today than I have in a while. Here's what I think: I think we have several of them that can average 4.5 to 5 yards a carry, and that would be more interesting to me than if we have one [1,000-yard rusher].

“And I know what you're asking, ‘Do we have that one horse yet?’ I think we're still kind of trying to evaluate that. Maybe that would be a good question whenever we talk Tuesday because…. maybe I’ll have a little bit better on an idea [then].”

The Razorbacks have seen running backs rotate throughout the different units this spring. Utah transfer Ja’Quinden Jackson, returners Rashod Dubinion, Isaiah Augustave and Dominique Johnson, and freshman Braylen Russell have gotten reps with the first team at different times over the first seven practice.

Saturday’s scrimmage, which will be open to the public, will be the first of three this spring. Arkansas will finish its schedule with a Red-White Game on April 13.