The decision is in from Fayetteville, Chad Morris is going with Ben Hicks to lead the Razorbacks onto the field for the team’s season opener against Portland State.

Entering training camp, the battle was perceived to be a two-man race between graduate transfers Ben Hicks, previously of SMU, and Nick Starkel, previously of Texas A&M, but young Razorback signal-callers John Stephen Jones and KJ Jefferson constantly received praise from Morris for much of camp. While the competition under center became muddled at times, the two graduate transfers fought hard and will likely both see the field in some capacity this season.

During his Monday afternoon press conference, Morris officially announced the news that Hicks will be the team’s starting quarterback.

“Ben has earned the right to start,” Morris said.

Hicks left SMU as the school’s all-time leading passer with 9,081 passing yards with 71 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. He has completed slightly over 55 percent of his passes in his college career. He started two seasons at SMU playing for Morris his offensive coaching staff before starting roughly half of last season under current SMU coach Sonny Dykes.

In two seasons at Texas A&M, Starkel completed just over 60 percent of his passes for 1,962 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He beat out freshmen Kellen Mond to start for the Aggies entering the 2017 season before suffering an injury that cost him much of his sophomore season. This time last year, Starkel lost the starting competition to Mond and redshirted last season for the Aggies after appearing in four games.

The Razorbacks open the season at home against Portland State at 3 p.m. CT on SEC Network.