Chad Morris on SMU grad transfer QB Ben Hicks: He’s been a great addition to our program
Chad Morris and Ben Hicks have a few things in common but perhaps none are more important to Razorback fans than the fact they each had career years the last time they were on the same team.
While Arkansas fans know all about Morris’ struggles in Fayetteville in 2018, Hicks experienced much the same at SMU last season after the coaches he signed to play for left for the SEC. Now together again for one last season at Arkansas, hopes are high that the progression and success Hicks experienced playing for Morris rolls over to 2019.
During his National Signing Day press conference, Morris publicly discussed Arkansas’ addition of Hicks, who is a graduate transfer and is eligible to play immediately in 2019.
“I had not had a chance to talk about Ben, Ben joined us. He was with us at SMU — three years at SMU with us. All-time leading passer (at SMU),” Morris said regarding Hicks. “Excited to have his leadership, his competitiveness in our program. He’s done a great job getting in and building those relationships.”
For his career, Hicks has thrown for 9,081 yards, 71 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. While it is accurate to say Hicks is SMU’s all-time leading passer, he failed to take his game to the next level in 2018 with Sonny Dykes leading the program. In fact, Hicks was temporarily benched last season at SMU.
Based on what Morris had to say about that, the Arkansas coach is not concerned about Hicks’ struggles in 2018 with SMU.
“I think when you look at Ben, and I’ve known Ben for a long time, and watching him and how he responded through adversity, coming in with a coaching change is always tough. It’s tough on everybody,” Morris continued. “But to watch the way he responded and be able to come off the bench and win ball games for them was huge. That tells you his resilience, that tells you his fight and his drive and he knows our offense and he knows us and he knows what to expect.
“He’s been a great addition to our program.”
In addition to that praise of Hicks, Morris was candid when asked about the possibility of Arkansas adding another quarterback to the roster via the transfer market. Texas A&M QB Nick Starkell, who is set to become a graduate transfer this spring, is currently exploring his options — with Arkansas being among his choices.
“We are always in the quarterback market, I’ve said that and I will continue to say that,” Morris said when asked about the remaining scholarships Arkansas has for 2019. “You can never have enough of those guys, gotta have competition there.”