FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — The competition played out a whole lot longer than most fans would have liked but Arkansas has its starting quarterback for the first game of the season.
The Razorbacks announced Ben Hicks will be the starter for the Aug. 31 season opener against Portland State. He beat out Nick Starkel for the starting job as the two were locked in the competition from the start of the summer. Arkansas also has junior Jack Lindsey, redshirt freshman John Stephen Jones and true freshman KJ Jefferson on the quarterback depth chart.
The two quarterbacks were listed as co-starters (Nick Starkel or Ben Hicks) in the initial depth chart released by the team prior to Chad Morris' weekly press conference on Monday.
Hicks was the starter for three seasons at SMU, two of which Chad Morris was the Mustangs head coach, as he threw for 9,081 yards and 71 touchdowns while completing 718-of-1,266 passes (56.7 percent) with 34 interceptions. Hicks is a graduate transfer and joined the Hogs last winter and went through spring practice as the team's starting quarterback.
Starkel initially won the starting job at Texas A&M before he went down with an injury and never regained his spot at the top of the depth chart. He threw for 1,962 yards and 15 touchdowns with the Aggies while completing 138-of-227 (60.8 percent) passes along with six interceptions. Starkel transferred to Arkansas after graduating from Texas A&M in May.
Arkansas never settled on a starting quarterback in the 2018 season as Ty Storey, Cole Kelley and Connor Noland each earned starts for the Razorbacks. All three have since left the team.