September 14, 2006

Springdale impact

Arkansas brought in five highly regarded people from Springdale (Ark.) High School in the off-season. Mitch Mustain and Damian Williams are already starting and leading the team in passing and receiving yards, respectively, and Gus Malzahn is calling the plays on offense.

It was a well publicized recruiting war for three prospects in Springdale - Mustain, Williams and tight end Ben Cleveland. Receiver Andrew Norman committed to Arkansas early, and offensive tackle Bartley Webb did likewise with Notre Dame. Mustain, the most decorated recruit in Arkansas high school history, performed admirably in his first college start against Western Athletic Conference opponent Utah State, though he did make several freshman mistakes. Coaches put him in a situation they felt gave him the best chance to succeed.

"I've got high expectations for him. I felt like he could've played better, but he'd tell you the same thing. He'll work hard in practice and try to eliminate those mistakes he did make and get better each week," Malzahn said. "The first start, you think of ways to protect your quarterback. But hey, we're in the SEC right now. We've got to win games, and we've got to keep them off balance, so that'll be our approach."

The Razorbacks are preparing to take on a tough Vanderbilt squad that played well in two tough losses on the road to Michigan (27-7) and Alabama (13-10).

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