In an otherwise dreary 2018 season, running back Rakeem Boyd delivered some of the brightest moments for Razorback football fans. Now, he’s helped deliver some of the biggest news of the offseason.
Boyd has been front and center in the recruiting efforts of Nick Starkel, the highly sought, 6-3, 215-pound quarterback transfer out of Texas A&M. Starkel and Boyd arrived on the Texas A&M Aggies campus blue chip recruits in 2016. Both redshirted that season, with Boyd transferred out soon afterward.
Starkel stuck around another two seasons, passing for 1,793 yards and 14 TDs on 123-of-205 passing in 2017. Thought he isn’t the running threat that KJ Jefferson will be, he has a big-time arm that is more proven against elite SEC defenses than SMU-turned-Arkansas quarterback Ben Hicks’ arm.
See evidence below:
Currently, Nick Starkel is weighing between joining Arkansas or Florida State this summer. After the last few weeks, it appears he’s leaning toward Arkansas.
It’s clear Starkel and Boyd have remained friends.
They apparently FaceTime each other a lot, so much so that Starkel went public with feeling bummed after Boyd wasn’t available on a recent attempt:
A few days later, Starkel was set to fly to Fayetteville for his official visit. School kept him delayed a bit, and this time it was Boyd who went public:
“It was awesome,” Starkel said, according to HawgSports.com’s Danny West. “Rakeem is a really good guy. It’s just been good hanging out with him. He’s been helping me and taking me around everywhere. That’s been really nice.”
Nick Starkel also shared his thoughts on:
“Obviously Coach (John) Chavis and Coach (Ron) Cooper were at A&M, so it was good to see them. Coach (Chad) Morris, Coach (Joe) Craddock and Coach (Justin) Stepp have been recruiting me since high school when they were at SMU. It’s been good to see them as well and touch base with them.”
On Morris: “I think he will (turn program around),” Starkel said (via Otis Kirk). “I think he’s doing the right things right now. I’m excited about that.”
“It’s been great. I enjoyed meeting the coaches and all the players last night and watching practice and stuff, so it’s been really good. Everyone was nice and it was a family atmosphere here. I liked that.”
Positives of Arkansas over Florida State
“It is closer to home [Argyle, Texas], only four and a half hours away. My family would be able to see every game. I know a lot of people at this university and I know the coaching staff really well, so I figure that will be the best fit for me.”
Regardless of where Starkel chooses to play his final two college seasons, he will face tough competition for a starting spot. At Florida State, junior Justin Blackman returns starting the majority of the last two seasons.
And, at Arkansas, there is of course Ben Hicks. “He’s a good player,” Starkel said. “He played at SMU, knows the offense. A smart kid and a competitor.”
Hicks is already on campus and working hard to make sure his final college season is a great one. He welcomes a potential battle with Starkel for playing time. “Competition is competition is competition, recruiting is the coaches’ job,” Hicks said, according to Hawgbeat.com. “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.”
To learn more about how Hicks’ is doing at the UA so far, check this:
And for more on Nick Starkel’s visit to Arkansas, here’s Razorback insider Otis Kirk: