By Otis Kirk
FAYETTEVILLE — The state is loaded with young, talented quarterbacks who may or may not start this fall, but are already pulling in offers from the colleges.
A state once known for producing running backs in large numbers now is doing the same in quarterbacks. Here’s a look at five quarterbacks who are underclassmen, in no particular order, who are already pulling in offers and certainly on verge of adding to them.
At Greenwood, Class of 2026 standout Kane Archer, 6-0 1/2, 192, helped lead the junior high team to an undefeated record while starting as an eighth grader. Now Archer is a varsity quarterback for the Bulldogs who were 9-4 last season and finished as state runner-up. Archer has offers from Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri, FAU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Louisville, Arizona and Hawaii.
Coach Chris Young has done an amazing job replacing Rick Jones who moved into college coaching. He is 23-4 with one state title in two years with the Bulldogs. Archer certainly gives Young a talented option at quarterback, but he doesn’t appear to be the only option.
Last year’s starter Hunter Houston, 6-1, 200, also returns. Houston completed 235 of 346 passes for 3,080 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2021. This gives Young two very capable quarterbacks in a time when many coaches would love to have one.
At Shiloh Christian, Class of 2025 quarterback Garyt Odom, 6-0, 170, quarterbacked the Saints freshman team to a 9-1 record. Much like Greenwood, Shiloh Christian’s Jeff Conaway has a senior quarterback who has been very successful also returning. Eli Wisdom, 6-0, 175, returns after completing 188 of 307 passes for 2,991 yards, 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Wisdom also rushed for 1,021 yards and 18 touchdowns on 121 carries. Wisdom has offers from UCA and Tulane with Arkansas and other showing attention. Odom already has offers from Arkansas, Purdue, Texas A&M, North Texas, UTSA and Middle Tennessee as a quarterback. So, like Young, Conaway is blessed with options at quarterback particularly if injuries happen. Conaway is 87-21 with the Saints.
At Little Rock Christian, Class of 2024 quarterback Walker White, 6-3, 220, is already a four-star quarterback who has a very long list of scholarship offers. The junior helped leads the Warriors to a 10-3 record in 2021. He completed 128 of 236 passes for 2,012 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. White also rushed 92 times for 483 yards and five touchdowns.
White has numerous ties to the Razorbacks. He has been offered by Arkansas, Florida, LSU, UCA, Louisville, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Tulsa, TCU, Wisconsin, Virginia and West Virginia. People wanting to see a classic should be at Shiloh Christian on Friday, Sept. 2, when White and the Warriors take on Wisdom, Odom and the Saints.
At Joe T. Robinson, the Senators are coming off a 14-1 season that saw them defeat Shiloh Christian to win the Class 4A state championship. Several starters are gone off that team. It’s not known at this time if he will start, but Class of 2025 quarterback Quentin Murphy, 6-0, 188, has already made his presence known to colleges. Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Tennessee, Oregon, Auburn, Utah and Delta State have offered. Murphy quarterbacked the junior high squad to a 7-2 mark in 2021. Definitely one to watch in coming years as he and Odom are both in the Class of 2025.
Another standout in the Class of 2025 is Central Arkansas Christian’s Grayson Wilson, 6-3, 180. Illinois and Barry Lunney Jr. have already seen enough to extend an offer. Wilson started the final two games of the 2021 season. The Mustangs were 2-8 in 2021, but with Wilson the record is very likely going to start trending in the other direction. Wilson completed 34 of 52 passes for 447 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed nine times for nine yards and a touchdown.