For the first time since the 2017 season, Arkansas knows who the starting quarterback is and Sam Pittman hasn’t made a big deal out of it.
A lot of the media and fans have. The truth is we’ve all known who that was going to be from the moment Feleipe Franks said in January he was coming to the Razorbacks.
“It’s been quite a while that we think he was going to be the one that takes us out there and gives us the best chance to win,” Pittman said in his first game week press conference Monday.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart is still having to tap-dance around who he’s going to put at quarterback. The Bulldogs haven’t released a depth chart (which is another example of why the SEC should step in and make certain things mandatory along the lines of the NFL).
That’s a tap-dance some coaches do just to prove they can. Nobody knows if the Bulldogs will start J.T. Daniels (a transfer from USC) or one of the guys left on the roster of what has been a position of musical chairs behind starter Jake Fromm the last few years.
Daniels had a knee injury on Labor Day weekend in 2019 while at USC and apparently hasn’t gotten medical clearance to play … if you want to believe Smart.
“We hope JT will be cleared by Saturday, officially,” Smart said and the last word of that almost sounded like an after-thought.
“I haven’t had a personal conversation with Kirby and ask him who he’s going to start,” Pittman said while grinning.
He has a pretty good idea. It will be a surprise if somebody else ends up taking most of the snaps behind center for Georgia on Saturday. But defensive coordinator Barry Odom still has to at least take a look at that possibility, as Pittman said.
“You’re guessing as much as we are,” Pittman said. “I can guarantee you not you or us or anybody is going to know who that starting quarterback is going to be for Georgia until he runs out there.”
Pittman didn’t play a lot of games or even make some big announcement. Franks apparently took charge from the minute he arrived in Fayetteville.
“He’s been running with the ones basically ever since he got here,” Pittman said Monday.
Whether anybody else agrees or not, Pittman’s not going to make a lot of grand announcements.
“We don’t get up in front of our team and announce who the starting quarterback is because we don’t announce who the starting center is,” Pittman said.
If Franks came in and took charge almost immediately that is a positive at the most important position on the field that has been maybe the least productive for the Hogs the last two seasons.
You get the idea Pittman won’t be making a lot of changes.
“We may have a package for this guy, a package for that guy, things of that nature,” Pittman said.
You get the idea, though, a lot of that is going to be Kendal Briles’ decision from the sidelines where he will be during games this year. Odom will be upstairs in the pressbox.
“There’s a reason a guy’s a starting quarterback, and that’s the guy you want out there, so we don’t really have any, ‘Hey, we’re going to play this guy at this time or that guy at this time,'” Pittman said. “We try to play our best quarterback and try to win the football game.”
Other Hogs coaches have said the same thing but this time it just sounds a little different and not quite such a quick-trigger decisions.
Especially now that we know Franks has basically been the starter since he came into town and essentially just flat took over the position.
Which should be another positive things could be better this year.