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With Michigan QB transfer Ryan Mallett now on campus, it seems quite natural for University of Arkansas fans to wonder if Camden Fairview’s Jim Youngblood and Greenwood’s Tyler Wilson still have plans to be Razorbacks.
According to both young men, the answer to that would be a resounding yes and they look forward to competing with Mallett (6-7, 250).
Youngblood (6-3, 217, 4.69), who passed for over 2,000 yards and ran for nearly a 1,000 this past season, is one of 13 of so recruits taking official visits to the UA this weekend.
“I don’t feel you should make a decision on where you go to school on who is already there on campus,” Youngblood said. “I would still be coming to Arkansas even if Mitch Mustain was still there with everybody else. I have always wanted to be a Razorback, that’s what I am going to be and I look forward to the compeition and all of us getting better.”
Wilson (6-3, 185, 4.6), who has passed for nearly 8,000 yards the past two seasons, is due in to Fayetteville for his official visit on Jan. 25-27.
“I have wanted to be a Razorback for a long, long time, that is where I still stand, and Ryan coming up there doesn’t make that change one bit,” Wilson said. “I think this is going to be a great opportunity for all of us. We are all going to push each other and all be better players because of that competition.”
When you throw in Razorback returning starter Casey Dick and his brother Nathan (who redshirted as a true freshman) and even talented walk-on Brian Reader, that’s a plethora of seemingly big-time quarterbacks on campus at one time.
While Mallett sits out the 2008 season due to NCAA rules, new Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino will give the other five a shot to lead the squad.
He made it clear in his first press conference that no one’s starting job is safe and he knows that all the quarterbacks have the same mindset.
“They all want to come in and play,” Petrino said. ‘They all want to play early. They believe in themselves… I understand that.”
Wilson had a chance to meet with new Arkansas quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee on Sunday.
“Coach McGee came down Sunday around 2 p.m. and we spent about two hours going over everything,” Wilson said. “It was a great meeting. To leave Northwestern as the offensive coordinator and come here shows what potential he thinks Arkansas has under Coach Petrino. He has a great understanding of the game and was just very impressive. I can see why Coach Petrino hired him.”
Youngblood had breakfast with some Arkansas coaches in Camden on Monday morning, including new UA offensive coordinator Paul Petrino.
“It went really good,” Youngblood said. “I was so impressed with Coach Petrino and Coach McGee and can really see myself playing for them and learning a lot. They are really smart guys and have a great knowledges of the Xs and Os of the game. I’m pumped.”
Youngblood and Wilson are also great baseball players and both have a chance to be drafted in this June’s Major League Baseball draft.
Their teams have battled several times on the football field and baseball diamond.
“He (Wilson) is a great guy and a great competitor and I think going against him in camps and games have made me better and him better,” Youngblood said. “I am excited that we are both going to be up there playing for the Razorbacks and doing what we can to help them win.”
Wilson echoes that sentiment.
“Jim is a great guy and a great quarterback,” Wilson said. “It’s great that both of us are going to get to live out our dream of playing for the Razorbacks.”