Arkansas quarterback Rafe Peavey did not play in the team's final scrimmage of fall camp Saturday. Ty Storey and Cole Kelley took back-up reps behind starter Austin Allen.
FAYETTEVILLE - Bret Bielema did not want to come out and say the Arkansas back-up quarterback job was down to two players. Indirectly, it was suggested.
Redshirt freshman Ty Storey and freshman Cole Kelley appear to be the final two options to play immediately behind starting quarterback Austin Allen when the Razorbacks start their season September 3 against Louisiana Tech. The No. 2 quarterback in the spring, sophomore Rafe Peavey, was not dressed Saturday during the team's second, and final, scrimmage of fall camp. Storey took second-team reps and Kelley had the next most.
Peavey, the second longest-tenured quarterback on the roster, had the top reserve job in the spring by virtue of his length with the program. He'd shown flashes of brilliance, even, during the spring and is easily the most mobile of any of the quarterbacks on the roster. Peavey underwent back surgery in mid July and missed a couple weeks, but his absence Saturday was not because of any continuing issue or injury there.
With two weeks until the season starts, Bielema is maximizing snaps for the two players with the least experience, but who appear to be able to help most down the road.
"We made a decision the other day that we wanted to see as many reps as we could out of Ty Storey and Cole Kelley," Bielema said.
Still, the only concrete thing about the quarterbacks right now is Allen is the starter. Seven quarterbacks remain on the roster, including six on the team's 105-man roster. Three are freshmen, two are redshirt freshman, Peavey is a sophomore and Allen a junior. Fights for playing time are going to be stiff over the next three years, even after Allen has exhausted his eligibility. Peavey had said in the spring he was not going to transfer. That was the last time a transfer has been brought up to any of the quaterbacks behind Allen.
Peavey remains in the fold for the foreseeable future as far as Bielema is concerned. He just needs his quarterback to return to the form that made him the No. 2 option in the spring in the first place.
"We’ve seen a lot of him and there’s been some really, really good things, some things that I wish would come along a little bit quicker," Bielema said. "He’s doing all the things we ask him to do, but the bottom line is performance and where we are. I needed to see those other two guys to see if they could be beyond him.
"We have a lot of guys in this program that do everything right, but that doesn’t automatically guarantee them a spot in the two-deep."
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