Out of contention for the No. 2 job and older than his competitors, quarterback Rafe Peavey has decided to transfer from Arkansas.
FAYETTEVILLE - The first shoe has dropped in the Arkansas quarterback race.
Sophomore Rafe Peavey has decided to transfer to Southern Methodist, per a message sent from his phone Tuesday night. Arkansas News Bureau had reported earlier Peavey was exploring the possibility.
"To all the fans that continue to believe in me and have remains in my corner throughout thick in thin (sic), I thank you. Hog fans feel free to convert to SMU fans, we'll welcome you with open arms. :)"
Peavey was in competition for the back-up quarterback job behind Austin Allen entering the fall, but he did not play Saturday in the Razorbacks' final scrimmage. Redshirt freshman Ty Storey and freshman Cole Kelley took the reserve snaps behind Allen and redshirt freshman Ricky Town took a bulk of the developmental team snaps.
The picture was left clear to Peavey, who was the No. 2 quarterback in the spring. It was at that time he said he was not leaving Arkansas no matter what happened.
"I’m going to stay regardless," Peavey said in April. "Been committed here since sophomore year of high school. I’ve never had any doubt. This is the place God wants me to be. I have faith in that."
He was dressed Saturday for the early parts of the scrimmage when the team was outdoors. But he was unseen after the team and media took things indoors because of the rain. Peavey's father Jack was at the scrimmage Saturday and watched from the weight room inside the Fred W. Smith Football Center with the media.
Peavey's transfer brings some clarity to one of the most hotly-contested gigs on the team. Allen was named the starter late in the spring and Bielema re-iterated both after Saturday's scrimmage and Monday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club that Allen was a good measure ahead of the back-ups. He and offensive coordinator Dan Enos said at the beginning of fall camp they were starting Peavey, Storey, Kelley and Town from scratch as it related to who would win the No. 2 gig. Storey currently holds that spot.
Peavey committed to Arkansas as four-star recruit out of Bolivar, Missouri, in the summer of 2012. He was about to be a junior in high school. He chose Arkansas over UCLA, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska and others. Peavey redshirted his first year on campus and did not play last year while serving as the No. 3 quarterback behind Allen and starter Brandon Allen.
Peavey was most limited by his throwing in the spring and fall. He was easily the most mobile of any of the quarterbacks on the Arkansas roster, but struggled with accuracy and had a tendency to take off running out of the pocket more often than his competitors for the job.
Six quarterbacks remain on the roster, including walk-ons Jack Lindsey and Carson Proctor.
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