Quarterback Rafe Peavey is no longer a member of the Arkansas Razorbacks, and that’s great news for SMU.
It was reported recently by multiple outlets that Peavey will indeed transfer to the Mustangs. He released news of the transfer himself on his Twitter account, relaying how tough it was to leave Arkansas, a school he had a connection to since his early days in high school (h/t Tom Murphy of arkansasonline.com).
“It was a tough decision to leave the school that I committed to as a sophomore in high school, but I look forward to what God has in store for me in this new chapter of my life and ultimately I have faith in His plans over mine.
Peavey also wrote a note to the fans, saying, “To all the fans that continue to believe in me and have remained in my corner throughout thick and thin, I thank you. Hog fans feel free to convert to SMU fans, we’ll welcome you with open arms.”
It will be a tough sell to get Razorback fans to switch their allegiances to the Mustangs, but in Peavey’s comments you can tell he appreciated both the time he had at Arkansas as well as the people he met. That’s the one part of transfers we tend to gloss over — the emotional aspect of it all.
So often we rush right into the impact for both teams and forget about the impact to the player, his family and friends. At least for a moment, it’s good to remember that.
Now, let’s talk about the impact for SMU.
On the field, there won’t be one this season. Peavey, a redshirt sophomore, will have to sit out a year due to transfer rules. Once he’s eligible for SMU — in 2017 — he’ll have two remaining years of eligibility.
Though Peavey hasn’t appeared in any college games, he will bring SEC experience to SMU — not the experience of throwing a football, but of absorbing a culture where preparation occurs at a higher level. There’s nothing that can replace in-game experience, but he’ll be a veteran college quarterback by the time 2017 rolls around. He’ll have two years of SEC preparation under his belt plus a year to learn SMU’s system.
At the very least, if SMU coach Chad Morris calls his number in 2017, Peavey will be prepared.
There’s also his potential to consider, something we caught a glimpse of when he was a 2014 recruit. According to the 247Sports Composite, Peavey was the No. 19 pro-style quarterback in his class and the No. 4 player from the state of Missouri — a state that’s highly underrated as far as recruiting talent is concerned.
More telling than his rankings were the offers he received. Peavey obviously boasted an Arkansas offer, but Auburn, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, UCLA, USC and West Virginia also sought his commitment.
In all, Peavey had 24 offers, which means 24 coaching staffs saw great potential in him.
We didn’t get to see that at Arkansas — at least in live-game situations — but sometimes a fresh start can be the best thing for both a quarterback and the team he transfers to.
The fact that he’ll be stepping into a much easier conference (the AAC) also bodes well for him. Of course, that’s not an indictment of the AAC. Simply put, the SEC is just that tough.
It will be interesting to see where the road takes Peavey. For now, it looks like he’s taken a step in a positive direction.