Rick Schaeffer, the onetime Arkansas sports information director who now appears daily on KABZ, 103.7 The Buzz's "Drive Time Sports" with Randy Rainwater, wouldn't be surprised to see Mitch Mustain start for the Hogs on Sept. 2 against Southern Cal., or so he says in his column for ARSN.
Mitch Mustain, Andrew Norman and Damian Williams have participated since the first day of summer school. In fact, they graduated from Springdale High School on a Saturday and were taking classes at the UA two days later. Most of the other freshmen will report for the second session of summer school July 3.
While Casey Dick, Robert Johnson and Alex Mortensen are the veterans, Mustain has more than held his own. In fact, those who have sneaked a peak at the workouts say Mustain is by far the most accurate. There is no rush and no one is in pads but it is already clear Mustain will quickly enter the hunt to start at quarterback.
Years of working with coaches has taught me to be hesitant to declare a true freshman ready to start at quarterback but I have to believe it will happen early in the year. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Mustain take the first snap against Southern Cal. If Arkansas were coming off consecutive bowl seasons, it would be preposterous to start a freshman at quarterback in the first game.
However, the Hogs have won just nine games in the last two years and expectations are high. Protected by superior running backs and a veteran offensive line, Mustain would not have to be a super star right away to be effective. There have been some excellent quarterbacks at Arkansas during the last three decades but none enrolled with the tools Mustain possesses since Joe Ferguson was a freshman in 1969.