By Otis Kirk
Former Texas A&M quarterback Nick Starkel was at Arkansas on an official visit this weekend.
He left Saturday evening and talked about how the visit went as a decision likely looms in the near future.
“It was great,” Starkel said. “I really liked it and enjoyed meeting all the coaches and players last night at practice and stuff. So it has been been really good. Everyone is nice. A family atmosphere here. I like that.”
He enjoyed going to the Catfish Hole after practice. Starkel and Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd were teammates at A&M. The two reunited on Starkel’s visit.
“It was awesome,” Starkel said. “Rakeem is a good guy. It was good to hang out with him. He has been hosting me and taking me around everywhere. So that has been really nice.”
When you decided to leave A&M and make the transfer what were you looking for in a school?
“I’m really looking for just the right fit,” Starkel said. “Coaching style, playing style and just roster spots. How it looks like at the school, will I play?”
John Chavis and Ron Cooper were at Texas A&M prior to coming to Arkansas so Starkel is very familiar with them.
“It was really good see them,” Starkel said. “Coach (Chad) Morris, Coach (Joe) Craddock and Coach (Justin) Stepp have all been recruiting me since high school so it was good to see them.”
At A&M, Starkel played in 11 games over the course of two seasons. His best game came against Wake Forest in the 2017 Belk Bowl. Starkel completed 42 of 63 passes for 499 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. However, the Aggies lost the game so Starkel wasn’t too excited about his stats.
“That was just a game we lost,” Starkel said. “If there’s any moral victory in a loss like that it hurts. It especially hurts to go out there with a ball in your hand, two-minute drill and something you prepare for your entire life and then not be able to convert and not win a game. It’s still a loss.”
In his two seasons he played at A&M, he never played in the pair of Arkansas games. If he comes to Arkansas, he will have a chance to play against A&M twice. Is that something that is special?
“Oh yeah, that excites me,” Starkel said. “It would be weird to play my roommates and stuff, but it could possibly happen.”
What does the rest of your recruiting process look like?
“I am gonna go process this with my family for about a day,” Starkel said. “My 24-hour rule and then decide what is gonna go on from there.”
If you were to pick Arkansas what would be the reasons?
“It’s closer to home only 4 1/2 hours away,” Starkel said. “My parents could come up and see every game. I know a lot of people at this university. I know the coaching staff really well. I think that would be the best fit for me.”
You saw Ben Hicks at practice on Friday. What are your thoughts on him?
“He’s a good player,” Starkel said. “He played at SMU, knows the offense. A smart kid and a competitor.”
Starkel said if he chooses Arkansas he will be moving here in June and enroll in classes in July. He has confidence that Morris has the program headed in the right direction.
“I think he will (turn program around),” Starkel said. “I think he’s doing the right things right now. I’m excited about that.”
He signed with the Aggies out of Agyle (Texas) Christian. In 11 games, Starkel completed 138 of 227 passes for 1,962 yards,15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He had one touchdown rushing.
Starkel, 6-3, 218, was a four-star recruit with ESPN and three-star with the other recruiting services.