FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema announced redshirt freshman Ty Storey as the Razorbacks’ backup quarterback Wednesday.
Storey beat out true freshman Cole Kelley, redshirt sophomore Rafe Peavey and redshirt freshman Ricky Town for the spot to play behind redshirt junior Austin Allen.
The competition was narrowed to Storey and Kelley last week with those two splitting time evenly behind Allen during the Razorbacks’ scrimmage Saturday. The coaching staff decided Sunday to move forward with Storey as the backup and Kelley in a developmental role.
Peavey did not play Saturday and informed Bielema on Sunday of his intentions to leave the program. He has since announced he plans to transfer to SMU.
Town fell out of the backup race early in fall camp and worked exclusively with the developmental players — mostly redshirt candidates and walk-ons — during the scrimmage.
“I would say that Ty has had his best camp by far,” Bielema said. “He’s throwing the ball extremely well. He just manages the situation very well. He handles the huddle, handles the reaction, handles the situations very well. He’s been good with the football. All his intangibles are very very positive. I think he’s the two, but Cole is gonna get reps with the 2s during practice and they’ll work through it together.”
Bielema said Kelley’s redshirt status is to be determine. The highly-regarded 6-foot-7, 258-pound freshman showed impressive upside in fall camp. It remains likely that Kelley could suit up and travel with the team as a third quarterback while still redshirting.
Peavey was given the option by Bielema to remain with the program during the fall semester with minimized football responsibilities. The intention was to potentially allow Peavey to graduate at Arkansas and then transfer, which would make him immediately eligible next season to play two years at another school. Peavey will instead transfer to SMU now and will not be eligible this season per NCAA transfer rules.
“The part that I always go back to is this: When I was at the University of Wisconsin, I had a running back who couldn’t get in our three deep who I allowed to transfer out,” Bielema said. “He went to Pittsburgh, ended up playing at Pittsburgh and ended up playing two or three years in the NFL. Couldn’t get on the field for us. The part that I always refer back to is, as you build depth to your roster, you’re gonna have these problems come up.”