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Could Jacolby Criswell be Sam Pittman's Backup Answer?

All Hogs
All Hogs
 2022-12-05

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Morrilton native enters portal, planning visit to Fayetteville where backup needed.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It probably shouldn't be that surprising that Jacolby Criswell is the first option to fill Arkansas' backup quarterback position.

The Morrilton native wasn't that hotly pursued in 2020 for whatever reasons. He went to North Carolina, spent a few years working with Mack Brown's staff and now is looking for a new home.

It could be coming home.

The Razorbacks have been an option on the table for awhile, according to multiple reports citing sources close to the situation.

KJ Jefferson's announcement last week he was staying with the Hogs for another year, which was good news. The biggest question all along is who will play behind him.

Rarely in the SEC does the starting quarterback make it through a 12-game schedule without getting nicked up along the way. Jefferson went through that most of last year, missing two games.

After Hornsby left with Cade Fortin out of years the coaches need some answer there.

It's a perfect fit for everybody.

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North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Jacolby Criswell (6) makes a catch during warm ups before the start of the first half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Truist Field. (Jim Dedmon / USA TODAY Sports)

Criswell plans to arrive in Fayetteville (Ark.) this Friday to begin his official visit.

Criswell backed up Heisman Trophy candidate Drake Maye this season and appeared in three games. He completed 1 of 5 passes for 4 yards, and rushed 2 times for 20 yards.

He has two seasons of eligibility remaining because of the extra year provided by the NCAA to players who competed in 2020 at the height of the covid-19 pandemic.

Criswell signed with the Tar Heels in 2020 as a consensus 4-star prospect. He also had offers from Arkansas, Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss, Auburn, Oklahoma State and other schools.

He appeared in six games as a true freshman in 2020. He completed 3 of 4 passes for 16 yards and was intercepted once that year, and had 9 carries for 26 yards.

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North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Jacolby Criswell (6) follows the block of tight end Kendall Karr (82) against Duke Blue Devils safety J'Marick Woods (9) during the second half at Wallace Wade Stadium. (Jim Dedmon / USA TODAY Sports)

In 2021, Criswell started a game against Wofford and was 11-of-19 passing for 125 yards and 1 touchdown, and rushed 5 times for 66 yards and 1 touchdown. He appeared in three other games.

Criswell, who placed seventh at the Elite 11 Opening Finals in high school, had 5,925 passing yards and 58 touchdowns, and 2,568 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns in 3 seasons at Morrilton. He was named Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior in 2019.

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