What does the future hold at the position of quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks? KJ Jefferson may be “the guy” as the program heads into its second season under head coach Sam Pittman, but Malik Hornsby was the signal-caller that reportedly put on a show during the team’s scrimmage this past weekend as just less than two weeks remain until the Razorbacks 2021 season kicks off. It was enough to garner some reaction from Late Kick host Josh Pate, who says Arkansas fans should not be surprise if Hornsby is worked into the equation this fall.
“Malik Hornsby is an interesting name to watch at Arkansas,” Pate said. “He had a huge scrimmage (on Saturday). He had big numbers, but scrimmages can lie to you sometimes. Well, I’m not even making these statements just correlated to his scrimmage. This is a former guy who is a top 100 player in the 247Sports player ratings. He was the No. 5 overall dual-threat quarterback. KJ Jefferson is the starter for them, and that’s not even in question. But if you listen to Sam Pittman and you listen to people close to Arkansas about Malik Hornsby, I very strongly believe there’s going to come a time — maybe even early in the season — where they have designed packages for him.
“That’s always popular to say. But I mean, really, part of their game plan. I don’t mean if things go sideways … I don’t mean in garbage time. I mean competitive game, ‘We decided we’re going to do this. It’s part of our game plan. We’re going to throw him out there.’ He is electric. He can fly. He is not a precision passer right now — he’s got a big arm — but he can give them such a different element that I think Arkansas can use to help them win football games.”
During Saturday’s scrimmage, Hornsby turned in an 80-yard touchdown run, an eight-yard touchdown run, a 45-yard touchdown pass to John David White and a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Catalon. Throughout fall camp, he has established himself as the clear No. 2 quarterback behind Jefferson. The coaches love his speed, and if he gets into a game this season the game plan will be altered a bit to showcase it.
“He can run now, and he can roll out and throw the football. He’s getting better in the pocket, but he has to get better,” Pittman said. “When he’s running out, he’s getting better at throwing the football, and he’s a major threat with his feet.
“He’s number 2. There’s not anybody in my opinion right now that’s that close to him as a 2-quarterback. I think whenever we get into live games and he’s able to use his feet and somebody’s not tagging him and the play’s down, I think he’ll be a really good quarterback for us. I don’t know that we’ll run the same exact offense with him in the game because we want to use his attributes.”
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In an earlier interview, Pittman said Hornsby might be the fastest player on the field when he’s out there. That breathtaking speed and high ceiling is one reason the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder was ranked as the No. 99 overall prospect in the nation, the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 14 overall recruit in the state of Texas by 247Sports in 2020.
HawgSports.com’s Trey Biddy contributed to this report.