FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- With a junior who's also quick going deep as a receiver and a senior eager to make the most of his final college season, Roy Wittke thinks the Razorbacks could have a strong two-quarterback system in the fall.
Wittke is now getting a firsthand impression of junior Matt Jones' speed as a receiver and calm leadership abilities, two years after watching Jones lead Arkansas to a seven-overtime victory over Mississippi.
Wittke was Eastern Illinois' offensive coordinator then, but he recognized Jones' ability to make plays.
"I was tremendously impressed with his awareness, his poise under pressure," said Wittke, who became Jones' quarterback coach this spring when he was hired to replace David Lee.
After watching senior Ryan Sorahan's outgoing demeanor during spring drills, Wittke thinks the Razorbacks can be successful with a two-quarterback system this fall.
"I think we believe as an offensive staff that the contrast between those two personalities, Ryan and Matt, is a good thing," Wittke said. "I think they both give us some things we need."
Jones threw for just 1,592 yards and 16 touchdowns in 14 games, but he added another dramatic victory to his resume in 2002. He completed two passes in the final 34 seconds for a 21-20 victory over LSU, giving the Razorbacks a share of the Southeastern Conference Western Division title and a berth in the league championship game.
The junior ended his first year as Arkansas' starter with a sore knee and throwing shoulder. Team doctors diagnosed Jones with a loose shoulder joint, which caused tendons to flare up when he threw the ball too much during practice.
By the end of the year his passes had lost some zip.
That forced Jones, Arkansas' top returning rusher with 614 yards in 2002, to spend a lot of time at wide receiver during spring drills. Arkansas coach Houston Nutt envisions using Jones' 6-foot-6, 225-pound speedy frame as a deep threat for Sorahan, but no one is sure how the system will work.
"How many plays is Matt going to be a receiver? I don't know. How many plays is Matt going to be at quarterback? I don't know," Nutt said. "I do know I want the ball in his hands."
Coming out of high school, Sorahan signed with California before transferring to San Jose State. Without ever playing a down at either school, he transferred to Foothill Community College in California, where he threw for 2,584 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2000.
He started against Tennessee and Alabama in 2001 after coming off the bench to lead Arkansas to a win over UNLV in the season opener. A back injury against Alabama forced him to miss the rest of the season and last year he only threw 22 passes -- 15 of those in the Music City Bowl.
This spring, he threw 46 passes in four major scrimmages without an interception. Sorahan, a senior, can seek another year for a medical hardship after this season, but coaches say he's preparing for this fall like it's his last.
"I think all of us noticed, even in the weight room, that Ryan has prepared himself with a real positive sense of urgency," Wittke said. "He's excited about his opportunity. His total focus is on wanting to make a contribution to us winning football games."
When Arkansas players report to campus on Sunday and start practice on Monday, coaches will begin figuring out how to win with Jones and Sorahan at quarterback.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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