When football practice starts in the morning, Justice Hansen will be the first quarterback for the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
After that, the game is on.
Hansen, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound redshirt sophomore, and Pitt transfer Chad Voytik (6-1, 220) are expected to be the top contenders in race to replace Fredi Knighten. Other in the race are redshirt freshman DJ Pearson and true freshman Logan Bonner.
A-State coach Blake Anderson said he would like to have a decision as soon as possible but would go “up until 10 days of the Toledo game at the latest.”
Anderson did say there was some flexibility in the decision making.
The Red Wolves open the season Friday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. against Toledo.
Practices will be daily at 8:50 a.m. and are open to the public.
Scrimmages are planned on Saturday, Aug. 13 (8:50 a.m.) and Saturday, Aug. 20 (6 p.m., fan appreciation day).
The Red Wolves learned this week that defensive lineman Robert Mondie was granted another season by the NCAA “but he has some hurdles to clear.
“He will be practicing football in the morning and working on eligibility in the afternoon,’’ said Anderson.
The Red Wolves have added four offensive linemen to the roster. Lanard Bonner (6-5, 320) from Highland (Kan.) Community College, Allen Byrd of Itawamba (Miss.) CC, Alex Novak of Southwest Mississippi and transfer Klint Harvey from Arkansas, who is from Corning. All are candidates to be redshirts.
Sophomore offensive lineman Jamal Fontenot will not play this season because of serious health issues. He is out with a “spinal cord condition” and is in Houston. Defensive back Jamaris Hart is out with an achilles injury.
Along with Hanson, who was at Butler CC, and Voytik, the Red Wolves will also have Power 5 transfers defensive lineman Dee Liner (Alabama), receivers Cameron Echols-Luper (TCU) and Kendall Sanders (Texas).