That trio of players – redshirt sophomore Ryan Mallett and freshmen Tyler Wilson and Jim Youngblood – took their first steps toward that this spring with Tuesday's workout.
"They were okay," Arkansas quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee said. "It was definitely faster out on the field than it was for them in the meetings. They got to a point in the meetings where they were very good. They understood things pretty good, but they get out here and coaches are screaming and defensive linemen moving and people making calls and they made some mistakes.
"But they are really working hard so I am pleased," McGee added. "They have a long way to go, but they are working really hard at it in the classroom and on the field."
Mallett (6-6, 241), who is down 24 pounds from a high of 265 last season, started two games as a freshmen at Michigan and is thought to be the frontrunner.
After a year of working with the scout team and some reps with the first team, he was happy to just be out on the field pointing toward a game.
"It was fun, it was really fun," Mallett said. "We were excited to get on the field. I know the offense was ready and the defense was ready. We just had a lot of fun installing. We made a couple of mistakes, but it was the first day and we are just looking forward to tomorrow to get better."
The practice comes just a little while after Mallett was arrested for public intoxication and was forced to do extra work by head coach Bobby Petrino.
"My teammates know that I put myself in a bad situation and they know we are just going to move forward from there," Mallett said. "They didn't lose any respect for me because they know it was my fault and I took responsibility for it.
"I did what I am suppose to. I lost a couple of more pounds."
He also has taken time to soak in everything that Petrino is trying to impart to him about his on the field work.
"Coach is a great coach," Mallett said. "I have learned so much from him as far as technique and offense. I think we mesh really well together. I am picking up a lot from him and it is really helping me out as far as technique and football wise."
Wilson is actually the quarterback with the most experience at Arkansas, having appeared in both the Alabama and Texas games last season before being taken down by mononucleosis.
He was granted a medical redshirt and thus starts all over so to speak.
"I think I needed it both mentally and physically," Wilson said. "It gave me another year to be able to come in understand the offense and get a grasp of it. Now this spring I can carry on with that."
Getting that game action certainly doesn't hurt.
"I think that is going to be beneficial for me knowing what it is like to be in an SEC situation where guys are going full speed," Wilson said. "Just knowing what the speed and the game is like and the atmosphere with people in the stands, that is going to be beneficial to me. Hopefully I can carry that and some knowledge of the playbook and what it takes to be an SEC quarterback into the spring and into the season."
Youngblood, who has gained 30 pounds to measure 6-2, 225 while keeping his 4.6 speed, looked sharper on Tuesday than at any point last season.
That came after deciding whether to just play football full-time after also considering going strictly to baseball.
"I had my ups and downs last year and kind of got discouraged for a little bit," said Youngblood, who is more of a running option than the other UA quarterbacks. "But I sit down with my parents and we talked about it and thought if I gave my heart to football, I could make a lot of improvement. I feel like I have gotten a lot better over the offseason and it's paid off for me."
All three of the quarterbacks hit some throws deep.
"We've got some guys that can go deep now," Mallett said. "We have just got to get them the ball. If we get them the ball, we can have some big plays."
McGee said all three QB candidates will be given equal reps this spring.
"We go through every play and we rep it out so they are all three going to get the same amount of reps because you don't want to wear one guy down with one guy getting more reps than the others," McGee said. "They are going to get good reps. We only have three guys working, but that is a good thing I think because they are going to get so much better in the next 14 days after today."
All three also wore knee braces on their left legs as a precautionary measure on Tuesday.
"We are just trying to keep them healthy," McGee said. "We did a lot of studying in the offseason on how to keep the quarterbacks healthy and that front leg is where you are closest to the defense. We just wanted to put something on all of them to keep them healthy."
McGee said he is happy with the shape all three have come into spring with after offseason work with Jason Veltkamp.
"Our strength and conditioning staff is the best that I have been around without a doubt," McGee said. "We have got the facilities and Veltcamp does a great job. The strength gains and the weight gains and losses that our guys have done is incredible. They have definitely put the work in during the offseason and now it is time for us to go out here and put in on the field and execute our plays."
There is plenty of work to do according to McGee.
"They were not as technique sound as I thought, but it was the first day and they are working hard at it," McGee said. "We have got three good kids, they are tough and they really want to be good players. They work at it with their technique, they work at it trying to understand more about football, about our offense and about defenses. We are in good position. We have got three good guys."
Youngblood thinks the starting job is up for grabs.
"We felt like all three of us have put in a lot of work this offseason and everybody has gotten better," Youngblood said. "The other two guys are great competitors and leaders and I am going to have to work hard if I want to win the job and I think that goes for anybody."