Arkansas often has had a familiar face at quarterback during the past decade.
Since 2006, the Razorbacks have had six different regular starters. Some starters missed a game or two because of injury, but most were consistently behind center for the Hogs. Among those players, four started for multiple seasons: Casey Dick, Tyler Wilson, Ryan Mallett and Brandon Allen. Austin Allen likely will join that list next season.
As such, it may appear the Razorbacks have missed on more quarterback recruits than they have during that time.
SEC Country took a look back at the quarterbacks Arkansas has signed during the past decade of recruiting classes to equate a hit rate. Here are the results:
2006: Mitch Mustain
The story of Mitch Mustain at Arkansas is well known not only in the state but nationally. It’ll also forever be a sore subject for at least some portion of the fan base.
He signed with the Razorbacks just months after then-coach Houston Nutt hired Gus Malzahn — Mustain’s coach at Springdale (Ark.) High School — to be Arkansas’ new offensive coordinator. Everything seemed to be in place for Mustain, a 5-star recruit, to excel at Arkansas. However, it didn’t take long for the relationship between Nutt and Malzahn to sour. The result was Mustain transferring to Southern Cal following a freshman season in which he started eight games — all Arkansas victories.
Mustain’s stats at Arkansas: 69/132 (52.3 percent); 894 YDS; 10 TD; 9 INT
2007: Nathan Dick
Dick started two games for the Razorbacks as a redshirt freshman in 2008 before transferring to Central Arkansas after the season. His best moment with the Hogs came against Mississippi State in 2008, when he started in place of his older brother, Casey, and threw for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Dick’s stats at Arkansas: 36/62 (58.1 percent); 454 YDS; 4 TD; 2 INT
2008: Tyler Wilson, Jim Youngblood
Wilson waited three seasons before becoming the starter as a redshirt junior. He was exceptional his final two years in that role. In 2011, he led the Hogs to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl victory. They finished in the top 5 in the polls with their only losses coming to Alabama and LSU, the two teams that played for the national title.
Unfortunately for Wilson, coach Bobby Petrino was infamously fired the following spring, and the Hogs went a disappointing 4-8 in 2012. However, Wilson still had a good season, throwing for more than 300 yards per game and completing better than 62 percent of his passes. He holds seven school passing records, four more than any quarterback in program history.
Youngblood never played for the Razorbacks. He transferred to Central Arkansas following the 2009 season.
Wilson’s stats at Arkansas: 593/948 (62.6 percent); 7,765 YDS; 52 TD; 26 INT
Youngblood’s stats at Arkansas: None
2009: Brandon Mitchell
A gifted athlete, Mitchell played football and basketball during his three seasons at Arkansas. But he never made much of an impact in either sport. He was behind Mallett when he initially arrived and then was beaten out by Wilson and Brandon Allen later in his career.
Mitchell also played receiver for the Hogs, catching 17 passes for 272 yards. He ended up at N.C. State for the 2013 season as a graduate transfer.
Mitchell’s stats at Arkansas: 25/43 (58 percent); 332 YDS; 3 TD; 1 INT
2010: Jacoby Walker
A dual-threat talent, Walker never played for the Razorbacks. He transferred to Central Arkansas following the 2011 season.
Walker’s stats at Arkansas: None
2011: Brandon Allen
Allen is the second-most successful quarterback on this list behind Wilson. He started for three seasons and holds three school passing records. His 34 consecutive starts to close his career are the most of any Arkansas quarterback since 1992, when the Hogs joined the SEC.
Allen’s stats at Arkansas: 583/1,016 (57.4 percent); 7,463 YDS; 64 TD; 26 INT
2013: Austin Allen, A.J. Derby, Damon Mitchell
Austin, Brandon’s younger brother, had an above-average season in 2016 — his first as the starter. He threw for 3,430 yards with 25 touchdowns, completing 61.1 percent of his throws. He also had 15 interceptions, something he’ll have to clean up as a senior to truly be considered in the upper echelon of Arkansas quarterbacks.
Derby arrived at Arkansas from junior college as a quarterback but made only one start at the position. He really made his name known as a tight end, the position he switched to for the 2014 season. That year, he caught 22 passes for 303 yards.
Mitchell never found a positional fit with the Razorbacks. He played quarterback, wide receiver and running back, contributing mostly on special teams the past three seasons. He has since graduated and transferred to Rutgers.
Allen’s stats at Arkansas: 254/420 (60.5 percent); 3,618 YDS; 26 TD; 16 INT
Derby’s stats at Arkansas: 19/36 (53 percent); 178 YDS; 1 TD
Mitchell’s stats at Arkansas: None
2014: Rafe Peavey
Peavey did not appear in any games during his two seasons at Arkansas. He transferred to SMU last August.
Peavey’s stats at Arkansas: None
2015: Ty Storey
Serving as Austin Allen’s backup in 2016, Storey looked shaky in the spot duty he received. He’s still a young player with plenty of time to develop.
Storey’s stats at Arkansas: 1/4 (25 percent); 3 YDS
2016: Cole Kelley
Kelley has all the tools to replace Austin Allen in 2018 as the starter. In fact, it’s likely he pushes to supplant Storey as the backup next season. At 6-foot-7, 258 pounds, Kelley has the size and arm strength comparable to Mallett.
Kelley’s stats at Arkansas: None
The Hit Rate: 27 percent
Storey and Kelley must be left out of this conclusion. Neither has had a realistic opportunity yet to prove he can play.
The Allen brothers and Wilson are the only players among the other 11 quarterbacks signed since 2006 who can be considered hits. All three players have their names littered throughout the school record books.
Mustain is the only other player on this list to have spent extended time as the starter at Arkansas. He’s considered a miss for obvious reasons.
Everyone else either transferred without having made an impact or switched positions during his career.
It should be noted Mallett was exceptional as a two-year starter (2009-10) for the Hogs. He is not included on this list because he transferred from Michigan.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.