QB's Interview Tops Magazine Content

LITTLE ROCK — There are some meaty morsels and some personal tales worth re-telling from quarterback Casey Dick in the supporting role interview in the 15th edition of Hooten's Arkansas Football.

Provided a copy by one of the Hooten boys, the magazine reviews Arkansas in-depth and the other Southeastern Conference teams to a lesser degree. What follows is a tip of the hat to Arkansas State University, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and other football-playing colleges in the state.

As always, the magazine is heavy on high school football — more than 300 pages worth counting numerous full-page ads — and what seems to be the name of every junior or senior who has earned a football letter at an Arkansas high school.

Each of the state's six classifications has its own all-star team and the prerequisite preseason rankings. Each conference outlook includes a coaches' poll and an analysis of the teams, No. 1 through whatever, with a succinct look at strengths and weaknesses.

For readers who can't wait to find out about their hometown, the index at the back is helpful.

No surprise, Darren McFadden is on the cover. The premise for the Q and A with McFadden is clever with the Heisman trophy runner-up agreeing to don bus driver garb and pose in front of a vehicle that is bound for "Georgia Dome, Atlanta."

For Razorback fans, it is the interview with Dick that will be quoted the most.

There has been much speculation about the influence of new quarterbacks coach David Lee, and the man scheduled to take most of the snaps provided something solid.

Dick was asked, "Would you call David Lee's changes to the offense a little tweaking, a tune-up or an overhaul?"

"It's more than a tweaking. It's probably a tune-up of the offense because the whole passing game is now more of a pro-style offense with a lot more checks and reads that we can go through to put our team in a better situation," he answered. "We don't want to run a bad play in a bad situation, so he's given us the opportunity to put us in a good situation."

Asked about the pass-run ratio in ‘07, Dick innocently provided ammo for those who want to see 30 or more passes per game.

"Hopefully, it will be even," Dick said. "That's the way it needs to be."

It won't be, rest assured.

From an entirely different angle, Dick's answers to a couple of other questions are just as interesting, including the one about his most cherished childhood non-sports memory.

"It's when I shot my first deer with my dad. We love to hunt deer together. ... The first time I went deer hunting, I was probably 3. I went bow hunting with my dad, painted my face, wore camo head-to-toe, hat on backwards, everything, and after that I was hooked."

Don't tell me this young man doesn't have what it takes to be an Arkansas quarterback.

Without revealing all, Dick's answer to a question about childhood meanness involves kindergarten, a girl with a ponytail, and some sharp scissors.

Like other preseason magazines, there are the obligatory college predictions — meaningless except as fodder for talk shows and discussions twixt fans.

USC is No. 1 and the Top 10 is dotted with the usual suspects. Oklahoma is No. 2, followed by LSU, Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Arkansas is No. 11, and that's too optimistic for me. The magazine predicts another 10-win season and I'm down with 8-4.

On the other hand, I do agree with many of the grades handed out, particularly the C for the defensive line and the C+ for the secondary.

I can't argue with LSU to win the Western Division, but I do think Alabama will do better than fourth in the division.

At No. 74, Troy is Arkansas' highest ranked non-conference opponent. North Texas is No. 104 and Florida International is last of 119. The other non-conference foe, Tennessee-Chattanooga, is in Division I-AA.

Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media's Arkansas News Bureau. e-mail: hking@arkansasnews.com.

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