Following a quarterback competition that took longer than many fans expected in Fayetteville, Arkansas head coach named Ben Hicks as the starter in week one over former Texas A&M signal caller Nick Starkel.
Hicks, who played for Morris at SMU for two seasons prior to his move to Arkansas, led the Mustangs to a 7-6 record in 2017. In his career in Dallas, Hicks threw for 9,081 passing yards, 71 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. In the spring, Hicks transferred to Arkansas to play for Morris for his last season of eligibility.
Starkel started his collegiate career at A&M, seeing the most action during his sophomore season in 2017 under former head coach Kevin Sumlin. The Argyle native battled with injuries after the season opener against UCLA, but returned in late October to reclaim the starting job from Kellen Mond. He finished the season with 1,793 yards passing, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.
After Sumlin was fired at the end of the regular season in 2017, current head coach Jimbo Fisher held a quarterback battle between Starkel and Mond, ultimately choosing Mond to start. Starkel only played in four games in 2018.
In the spring of 2019, Starkel entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal and announced his move to Arkansas. He graduated from A&M in August and made it back in time for fall camp in Fayetteville.
A&M will face Arkansas in the Southwest Classic on Sept. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Kickoff is set for noon.