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KJ Jefferson has impressed to say the least in his first full season as the starter in 2021.
Jefferson had made spot starts in his first two seasons on campus (the first was a redshirt) but he is firmly entrenched now.
Arkansas has had a number of quarterbacks make a splash in their first year as the starter since the turn of the millennium.
Here is a look at the top five seasons compiled by first year Razorback signal callers since 2000.
5. Mitch Mustain, 2006
Oct 7, 2006; Auburn, AL, USA. Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Mitch Mustain (16) and offensive lineman Stephen Parker (74) enjoy the last few minutes of the fourth quarter in Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn. Mustain completed 7 passes for 87 yards as the Razorbacks upset the Auburn Tigers 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Photo By John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Obviously a polarizing figure, it is hard to argue against his W-L record during his short tenure as a Razorback.
Mustain went 8-0 after taking over in Week 2 against Utah State. He led a touchdown drive in the season opener in relief of Robert Johnson against USC, the school he would ultimately transfer to following the season.
His numbers weren’t great, but it can be argued that they would’ve been better had he been allowed to run the offense unhandicapped and without the drama of Houston Nutt and Gus Malzahn.
4. Austin Allen, 2016
Sep 10, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Kenny Hill (7) and Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen (8) shake hands after the game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Allen took over the reins after his brother graduated and moved on to the NFL, and was superb, leading the Razorbacks to a 7-5 record and a bowl trip.
He threw for 3,430 yards and 25 touchdowns despite throwing 15 interceptions, and his play in double overtime against TCU gave Arkansas a signature win that year.
3. Feleipe Franks, 2020
Oct 10, 2020; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) passing against the Auburn Tigers during the second quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
A graduate transfer from Florida, Franks was the main reason Arkansas was able to win three games against a SEC-only schedule in the pandemic shortened 2020 season.
Franks threw for 2,107 yards and 17 touchdowns in only 9 games (he missed the Missouri game due to injury) and completed 68.5 percent of his passes, breaking a school record that had stood since 1979.
He also only threw four interceptions and was a threat to make plays with his legs.
2. Ryan Mallett, 2009
October 17, 2009; Gainesville FL, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino talks with quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) before the game against Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mallett was everything as advertised after transferring from Michigan following his freshman season after the Wolverines moved on from Lloyd Carr and hired Rich Rodriguez.
The tall gunslinger, who grew up in Lincoln, Ark., just 20 minutes from campus before moving to Texarkana in middle school, threw for a then school record 3,624 yards and 30 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.
He led the Razorbacks to a 8-5 record and a Liberty Bowl win over East Carolina, before totally shattering the record books the following year.
1. Tyler Wilson, 2011
Oct 22, 2011; Oxford, MS, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson (8) prepares to make a pass against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught Hemingway Stadium. Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the Mississippi Rebels 29-24. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Everyone knew what Wilson could do the previous year after he was rushed into action after Ryan Mallett suffered an injury and he torched eventual national champion Auburn’s defense in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Taking over in Bobby Petrino’s fourth and final season with the Razorbacks, Wilson threw for 3,638 yards and 24 touchdowns with just six interceptions.
His virtuoso performance was against Texas A&M, when he threw for a school record 510 yards in leading Arkansas to a comeback victory.