Destined To Be A Razorback

Quarterback Rafe Peavey, who passed for 2,294 yards and ran for 1,557 more this past season, is one of at least four early enrollees starting school on Monday at Arkansas along with cornerback Chris Murphy and wideouts Cody Hollister and Jared Cornelius while offensive lineman Sebastian Tretola is finalizing his arrival.

Rafe Peavey knows there are a lot of Arkansas football fans hoping that he is the Razorbacks' starting quarterback next season.

That's in part because the 6-2, 212-pound standout from Bolivar, Mo., has not made any mistakes yet in an Arkansas uniform and because 2013 starter Brandon Allen struggled at times during an injury-plagued redshirt sophomore season.

Peavey, who graduated high school in December and is one of five Razorback early enrollees that start school Monday at Arkansas, notes he is coming to learn and compete.

"I trust these coaches and I know they are going to make the best decision for this program," Peavey said. "Our future is bright so whoever they decide to start is not up to me, but I can go out and compete and either win the job or make the others better.

"I just want to control the things that I can control and work hard," Peavey added. "I'm just going to take everything with a grain of salt and I just want to be the best quarterback I can be."

Peavey will room with fellow early enrollees Marietta, Ga., Lassiter cornerback Chris Murphy (5-10, 180) and Shreveport, La., Evangel wide receiver Jared Cornelius (6-2, 190).

Those three join a pair of junior college prospects Iowa Western offensive lineman Sebastian Tretola (6-5, 315) - who is expected to arrive later this week - and Arizona Western wide receiver Cody Hollister (6-4, 205) in enrolling early at Arkansas.

They will all be able to go through off-season strength and conditioning with Ben Herbert spring practice, learn from Razorback offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and defensive coordinator Chris Ash and then go through spring practice.

"I am looking forward to sitting in the meeting room with Coach Chaney and getting with Coach Herb and just getting physically prepared for everything I am about to get into," Peavey said.

Peavey is coming off sparkling high school career in which he had 2,718 yards rushing and 53 touchdowns while also completing 317 of 473 pass attempts for 5,990 yards and 54 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions.

He earned first-team all-state honors his senior year after leading Bolivar to a school-record 12-1 mark, passing for 2,294 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushing for 1,557 yards and 27 more scores.

It's not surprising that Peavey ended up a Razorback seeing as how his mom Rachel moved to Fayetteville when she was 13 and his dad Jack – a former NFL player with New England and Denver – was a graduate assistant for Jack Crowe at Arkansas.

The two met while he was coaching for the Razorbacks and Rachel – the niece of former Arkansas swinning coach Sam Freas – notes that she brought Rafe home from a hospital in Rhode Island in a Razorback onesie.

He'll be living away from his parents for the first time.

"It is going to be totally different, but I am looking forward to it," Peavey said. "I have been looking forward to it every since I committed during my sophomore year.

"Now that it is here, I am just going to embrace it and I am looking forward to making new relationships with people and just be the best person I can be off the field as well as on the field," Peavey said.

He is anxious to jump into being a college quarterback and knows lots will change and he needs to improve in a lot of areas.

"I can't really thing of any one thing in particular, but it's just that the whole game is changing from high school to college ball," Peavey said. "The SEC is obviously one of the best conferences in the country so there is a huge jump.

"The speed of the game is changing, everything is changing like the depth of the playbook, the different blitzes that people are bringing at you and just how to pick them up," Peavey said.

Another good thing about enrolling early is that he will be able to help with recruiting the next three weekends.

He was definitely happy that Arkansas added St. Louis, Mo., Christian Brothers offensive lineman Brian Wallace (6-6, 300) recently as it's 20th pledge of the 2014 class.

"I think our class is shaping up pretty well with the addition of Brian Wallace and hopefully I can do my part with a few guys down at the end here that are going to be beneficial for us," Peavey said. "I do anything the coaches ask me to do whether it is hosting a guy or whatever they need me to do."

When Cornelius switched his commitment from Arkansas to TCU for a few days, Peavey got a call from him.

"I was actually in a movie, but I wanted to go ahead and take the call," Peavey said. "I did and ended up talking to him for about 30 minutes and missed the rest of the movie.

"But it was worth it to get him back," Peavey added. "I was just totally real with him, had a good talk with him and hopefully helped him change his mind a little bit."

Many Razorback fans got their first chance to see Peavey in action for the first time when he appeared in the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He was 7-of-11 passing for 71 yards with a touchdown pass.

"It was super exciting when I was playing," Peavey said. "The speed of the game was the funnest part for me. Playing with great players on both sides of the ball was really special. Niot everybody gets that opportunity. It was a huge blessing and I was soaking up every minute of it."

Rafe Peavey

Rafe Peavey (photo courtesy of Rafe Peavey)

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