Hogs pleased with QB tandem in 2021 class
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FAYETTEVILLE — For just the third time in the past 13 recruiting cycles, Arkansas signed two quarterbacks in its 2021 class.
Although Rogers briefly de-committed following Coley’s announcement, he jumped back onboard less than three weeks later to give head coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles the two quarterbacks they planned for.
“We felt like we needed two quarterbacks in this class,” Pittman said. “That was one of the things we started the whole ‘needs’ with a long time ago and Coach Briles was able to get those guys to come here.”
Along with teammate and tight end Erin Outley, Rogers was the first football player out of the Little Rock School District to sign with the Razorbacks in 15 years. The 2005 class featured Kevin Thornton and Antwain Robinson from Little Rock Central.
When discussing him in Wednesday’s press conference, Pittman described him as “very big” - list at 6-foot-4, 215 - and “very athletic.”
“I think he’s a guy that would really fit into what we’re doing offensively,” Pittman said. “He has a very strong arm. I think he’s still developing. I think he can become much better than what he is right now, but he can run, he’s got really good speed and he’s a physical guy.”
As Pittman hinted at, Rogers is viewed as somewhat of a “raw” prospect who hasn’t fully tapped into his potential. Despite an impressive 19-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio his junior year, he completed only 54.4 percent of his passes.
During his senior year, Rogers increased his completion percentage 61.3 percent, while having almost as many rushing yards as passing yards and scoring 22 touchdowns on the ground.
With his size and athleticism, some have speculated he could potentially change positions down the line. He’s been clocked at 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 4.06 seconds in the shuttle, plus can squat 450 pounds and has 11.5-inch hands.
Little Rock Parkview head coach Brad Bolding told HawgBeat back in April that he’s hopeful Rogers will pan out at quarterback, but said he respects the conversation because he knows it’s a compliment to his athleticism.
“Without a doubt, he could play tight end, he could be a receiver,” Bolding said. “He has that skillset to be able to do that. I’m partial to him as a quarterback…because I know how hard he’s worked at the position.
“But yes, if for some reason it’s not panning out there, that’s the beautiful thing about him, you’re not just stuck with someone over there to the side. It’s a guy you could move around different spots.”
While Rogers’ only other Power Five offer was from Kansas and he had just a handful of other offers, Coley was viewed as more refined dual-threat quarterback who had more opportunities.
Recruited by the likes of Virginia Tech, Louisville, Illinois and Washington State, the 6-foot-2, is “very smart,” Pittman said, as evidenced by his numerous Ivy League offers.
“Lucas Coley is certainly a guy that’s a run and pass threat, as well,” Pittman said. “Not quite as big as Landon, but has played good ball there in Texas and had a lot of success.”
Coming off a junior season in which he accounted for more than 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground and through the air, Coley led Cornerstone Christian to a 10-1 record as a senior.
His head coach with Warriors was John Bachman, who is originally from northern Louisiana and has seen quarterbacks like Shea Patterson, Brock Berlin and John David Booty come up through the high school ranks.
Bachman told HawgBeat in June that Coley’s arm strength is comparable to those quarterbacks, but what sets him apart is his ability to run.
“If he needs to beat you with his legs, he’ll beat you with his legs,” Bachman said. “If he needs to beat you with his arm, he’ll beat you with his arm. If he needs to get a yard, he’ll get a yard. Whatever we need of him, he always delivers.”