FAYETTEVILLE - Ah, the quarterback. The final spot on our complete and in-depth look at every player on the Arkansas roster.
It's a position where some of the best of all-time to play in Fayetteville have come in the last 20 years. One such player who this time last year had a long way to go to be on that list, did in fact make it by season's end. And now it's up to his little brother to continue the forward momentum.
Two days of fall camp have gone by and the 105-man roster is set. Five of these quarterbacks are on it and only one has a clear spot on the depth chart. But what does that one bring? And what about those behind him?
Here it is. Football season can now begin.
Note: All quotes from Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos.
1. Austin Allen, junior (6-foot-1, 209 pounds)
Last year: 1 for 3 for 35 yards; 1 touchdown
Glance: Three pass attempts are all Arkansas has coming back at the quarterback position. No one else on the roster at the spot has played a single snap. It took Bret Bielema all of about a week and a half in the spring to name Allen his starter. No one was shocked that was the outcome, though some were surprised the announcement came so quickly. And it can be looked at from two ways. Either Allen is solid all the way around and solidified himself as a solid Southeastern Conference that quickly. Or maybe those behind him just have that much catching up to do.
Pick whichever you want. The fact of things are Allen is the guy. He had higher preps credentials than the man he's replacing, older brother Brandon, but also has spent some time being dogged publicly by Bielema. Of course, such dogging was a year ago. Most of it longer ago than that. Austin will never be mistaken for Brandon personality-wise and for this writer, that's about the last time the comparison will be made between the two.
It is not fair to compare Austin to Brandon as much as he will be. Not as brothers, anyway. As starters? Get after it. This is Austin's job.
Quotable: “We want him to play smart. And be disciplined. One thing I tell him, I tell all the quarterbacks I coach, ‘don’t try to do anything outside your capabilities.’ Usually the offense will take care of itself. (haven’t had to peel anything back) Not yet. Austin has been here for a year or so. He’s been through the gameplan situations. He’s heard it installed several times. I think he’s a really really bright guy. Everything we do we’re going to try to make sure we can help him be successful.”
2. Rafe Peavey, sophomore (6-1, 203)
Last year: DNP
Glance: Peavey had a good handle on the back-up job most of the spring. July back surgery put him out of commission for a couple weeks and it remains to be seen how much he will do in camp. If he's quite limited, any of the three behind him could usurp his role as No. 2. If he's healthy and clean, however, it's likely he keeps the gig as first-call if Allen were to go down.
He and Allen are comparable in body type, but Peavey is much more prone to pull the ball down and run with it. And he's good at it, too, as seen this spring. His is a matter of incremental improvement. But the gap between he and Allen is larger than the one between he and the Nos. 3 and 4 guys. Or it was in the spring.
Quotable: "The thing there is we really have five guys we want to take a look at. We’re going to get all those guys reps. See where it goes. They don’t have long to make their mark. They’re going to have to do it quickly.”
3. Ty Storey, redshirt freshman (6-2, 212)
Last year: Redshirted
Glance: Storey looked overwhelmed at times after he arrived in January of what should have been his senior year of high school. He still gets happy feet and pumps his arm a bit too often for liking, but it's far less than it was a year ago. His size and maximum arm strength are matched only by Town (save for Cole Kelley, whom we've only seen for a grand total of about a half-hour).
Truth is, it's hard to distinguish between Peavey, Storey and Town as far as upside and long-term ability go. Storey's the grinder. Peavey's the athlete. Town's the classic drop-back guy. Ask three people which is the most likely heir to Allen, you'll get three different answers. Storey's shot is as good as any.
Quotable: "Ty is a real, real competitive guy that loves football. Loves the grind. I’m excited about him."
4. Ricky Town, redshirt freshman (6-3, 214)
Last year: Redshirted
Glance: Town's adjustment to Hoganese has been slow going. He was the clear No. 4 in the spring, but closer than that would suggest. He has the best overall size and looks like an SEC quarterback. He's only been seen in the spring and in a single practice this fall, though. Everything with him is TBD.
Quotable: "I think Ricky is a guy that hasn’t been in the offense very much. Ty was ahead of him a little bit mentally. Ricky is a guy that’s got very good arm strength. A lot of physical ability. Been trying to catch it mentally."
5. Cole Kelley, freshman (6-7, 258)
Last year: N/A
Glance: Lo, the Ryan Mallett comparisons. Of course they were. Kelley is a big, burly guy who wears the same number Mallett did when the Texarkana native was in Fayetteville. The size and comparisons to one of most successful quarterbacks of the modern era at Arkansas have loads of folks anxious. Bielema says Kelley is going to get his opportunity to push for the back-up job right away. His development bears watching as a three-star, because who knows.
Quotable: “He’s that fifth guy. He’s going to come in and compete.”
6. Carson Proctor, freshman (6-4, 211)
Last year: N/A
7. Jack Lindsey, freshman (6-3, 184)
Last year: N/A
Summary: Proctor and Lindsey fill out the roster for the scout team for now. Neither made the 105.
Follow Eric on Twitter: @ericwbolin