Maybe the third time will be a charm for Ricky Town.
Bret Bielema has confirmed that Town and another Arkansas player, running back Damon Mitchell, have decided to transfer from the Razorbacks. According to the head coach, the quarterback’s decision to transfer stems from a desire for a better shot at playing time.
“He’s expressed he wants to find some place next year that can get him on the field and let him showcase his skills,” Bielema said of the redshirt freshman, who didn’t attempt a pass this season.
That some place is expected to be a junior college for the 2017 season. If Town takes that tack, he would then have two seasons of eligibility remaining at the FBS level starting in 2018.
Originally a USC signee, Town announced in mid-August of last year that he would be transferring from the Trojans. Less than a week later, after considering Florida as well, Town landed in Fayetteville.
Town was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the country; the No. 20 player at any position in the state of California; and the No. 127 player overall according to Rivals.com. In January of 2014, Town pulled his verbal commitment from Alabama and gave it to USC.
With Cody Kessler firmly entrenched as the starter, Town was widely expected to take a redshirt as a true freshman. He was an early enrollee who took part in spring practice, but had fallen behind fellow 2015 signee Sam Darnold in the signal-calling pecking order. Darnold, of course, eventually took over the starting job this year and has the Trojans riding an eight-game winning streak heading into their Rose Bowl matchup with Big Ten champion Penn State.
Mitchell, meanwhile, will be leaving the Hogs as a graduate transfer. Bielema says the junior already knows where he will continue his playing career, but will allow the player to make the announcement when he’s ready.
This season, Mitchell gained 18 yards on seven carries. He totaled 17 carries for 105 yards in his career. Last season, he caught six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.