During his first year on campus in Fayetteville, Connor Noland is about to accomplish what many athletes never accomplish during their entire athletic careers — he is going to earn a start on his school’s football and baseball teams.
Last season, the former four-star prospect from Greenwood, Ark., was the first true freshman to start under center for the Razorbacks since Mitch Mustain all the back in 2006. This weekend, he will earn his first start as a pitcher on Dave Van Horn’s club when the Razorbacks take on Eastern Illinois.
“I knew his stuff was going to be good, I knew he had a good breaking ball,” Van Horn recently said regarding Noland, according to Andrew Hutchinson of HawgBeat.com. “But it’s all the little things, like holding runners. He picked a runner off first the other day. Fielding his position, he’s been outstanding so far. He’s fairly quick to the plate.”
The baseball team plans to keep the freshman on a pitch count, around 70-75 pitches. During football season, Noland’s duties are exclusive to football, making his early nod to being named a starting pitcher on the baseball team all the more impressive.
Noland saw action in four football games last fall, completing 21 of 42 passes for 255 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.