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Mullins Says QB Competition Still Wide Open

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Head coach Steve Mullins says that any of three candidates could be the Arkansas Tech starting quarterback when the Wonder Boys begin their 2011 season on Sept. 3. Junior James Landry, sophomore Cody Jones and freshman Preston Conder took turns working with the top two offensive units during the Wonder Boys’ first major scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday, Aug. 20. “I think we made a few strides, but we’re still not where we need to be at the quarterback position,” said Mullins following the scrimmage. “We still have wide-open competition, and as we go through with our next big scrimmage and the week after that hopefully we’ll have everything narrowed down.” The Wonder Boys have one more major scrimmage before the close of fall camp. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field. There will be a back-to-school pep rally before the scrimmage at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend. No admission will be charged. Landry appeared in four games for Arkansas Tech last season. He saw time at both quarterback and wide receiver in 2010, completing 4-of-8 passes for 62 yards along the way. The Belle Rose, La., native completed 111-of-200 passes (56 percent) for 1,516 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman at Holmes Community College (Miss.). He also rushed for 589 yards that season and was named all-conference.

Landry rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards as a senior at Assumption High School in Napoleonville, La.

Jones also contributed for Arkansas Tech in 2010, but the majority of his work came in the kicking game. He made 3-of-5 field goal attempts and 20-of-22 point after touchdown kicks as a freshman. Jones also punted 23 times for an average of 35.3 yards per attempt last year.

A product of Jackson Christian School and a native of Lexington, Tenn., Jones was a three-time all-state selection in high school. He passed for 4,690 yards and 38 touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons at Jackson Christian.

Conder is the newcomer among those vying for the starting job at quarterback. A true freshman, Conder completed 54-of-103 passes for 962 yards and eight touchdowns in six games as a senior at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas, in 2010. His senior season was truncated by injury.

After the final preseason scrimmage on Tuesday, the Wonder Boys will turn their full attention to the season opener on Saturday, Sept. 3, against the University of Arkansas-Monticello.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Convoy Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium in Monticello. It will be the first game for both Arkansas Tech and UAM as members of the new NCAA Division II Great American Conference.

The game will be broadcast in the Arkansas River Valley on KWKK 100.9 FM, and the broadcast will be streamed over the Internet at www.athletics.atu.edu.

Arkansas Tech returns 41 lettermen from a team that was 4-7 overall last season. The Wonder Boys have won 524 all-time games, which is tied for ninth-most in NCAA Division II history.

Mullins begins his 15th season as Arkansas Tech head football coach with an overall record of 89-61. He has won more games as Tech head football coach than any other person.

Click here to view photos from the Aug. 20 scrimmage.

Click here to view video from the Aug. 20 scrimmage.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech football.

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