The College Station to Fayetteville exodus is in full effect.
More than a year after former Texas A&M Aggie Rakeem Boyd chose Arkansas for his next SEC stop, his former teammate has done the same. Quarterback Nick Starkel announced this evening he’ll become a Razorback after a weekend visit to Fayetteville.
“Arkansas felt like home the moment I set foot on campus,” Starkel told HawgSports. “Coach (Chad) Morris and his staff know the true meaning of family and are growing closer together as a team and as a family each day.”
Starkel picked Arkansas over Florida State. He was planning to visit Tallahassee later this month but scrapped those plans after his trip to Fayetteville. Several other schools made contact, including Ohio State, Louisville, Washington State, Georgia Tech, Duke, Memphis and Rutgers, according to HawgSports’ Danny West.
Starkel is one of two Razorback quarterbacks who haven’t yet made it to campus. The other four Hog quarterbacks are already on campus. Ben Hicks, the graduate transfer from SMU, appears to be the favorite for a starting position at this early juncture given his years of experience at SMU playing for Arkansas coaches Chad Morris and Joe Craddock.
Hicks has said he relishes the challenge someone like Starkel would bring. “Competition is competition is competition, recruiting is the coaches’ job,” Hicks said. “I love playing football. My job is to be the best player I can be and do everything I can do to help this team win.”
Starkel and KJ Jefferson, the dual-threat freshman phenom from Mississippi, won’t arrive until this summer. At 6-3, 215 pounds, Starkel isn’t the runner that KJ Jefferson is. Including sacks, Starkel “ran” 13 times for -48 yards in the two seasons he played at Texas A&M.
But he’s a much more accomplished passer. Indeed, Starkel has had far more experience shredding Power 5 defenses that anybody else on the Razorback roster. His best season came in 2017, before he lost his starting job to Kellen Mond. That year he passed for 1,793 yards and 14 touchdowns on 123-of-205 passing.
Starkel’s finest moment came in Texas A&M’s Belk Bowl game that season. He completed 42 of 63 passes for 499 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in a losing effort against Wake Forest. The effort set all kinds of Texas A&M passing bowl game records.
Rakeem Boyd played a big role in recruiting Starkel to campus. For more insight into that, as well as other reasons Starkel chose the Razorbacks, check this: