Arkansas Football Countdown: 11 Days - AJ Derby and Memory Lane with Cobi Hamilton

USA TODAY Sports

With 11 days to kickoff, we take a look at the new backup quarterback on Arkansas' roster and the illustrious career of Cobi Hamilton.

11 games is now all that remains in our countdown here at the newly named ArkansasFight.com, the finish line to the marathon that is the offseason is well in sight. I can almost smell it…and it smells good.

Quarterback AJ Derby is taking over the #11 jersey from Cobi Hamilton. Derby is a juco transfer who originally played at Iowa as a freshman, and after solid performances throughout the offseason practices, is projected to be Brandon Allen's backup this fall.

But this is the last post outside of the final 10 count, which means we can take a look back at the marvelous Razorback career of Cobi Hamilton. Hamilton arrived on the Hill after setting the single season receiving yardage record at Texas High in Texarkana, with 1,071 yards and 14 touchdowns. As a freshman in 2009, Hamilton appeared in all 13 games, and was a key cog in Arkansas’ legendary receiving corps of the Petrino era early on. He finished the season with 19 catches for 347 yards.

As a sophomore, he recorded 630 yards and six touchdowns on 32 receptions. One of Cobi’s best games came in Little Rock against LSU that year.

He torched the Tiger defense for 164 yards on three receptions with two touchdowns. Two of the biggest touchdowns I’ve ever seen; the first coming on the last play of the first half. Six seconds were put on the clock giving Petrino the chance for Ryan Mallett to take a knee and head into the locker room tied 14 all with the number six ranked Tigers. However, Mallett lined up in the shotgun formation, snapped the ball and threaded the needle to Hamilton between future first round picks at corner and safety, Morris Claiborne and Patrick Peterson, who collided in an attempt to stop Cobi. Hamilton kicked in to another gear he’d shown on the track in the 200 meter dash and went 84 yards for a touchdown. He’d fallow it up with another 80 yard touchdown in a game that sent the Hogs to their first ever BCS Bowl appearance.

As the play of seniors Joe Adams and Jarius Wright escaladed providing highlight after highlight, Hamiton continued to develop and recorded a career high 34 catches for over 500 yards. He helped lead the Hogs to a Cotton Bowl victory over Kansas State. In spite of a senior season of unfortunate circumstance, Hamilton had the best season of his career, serving as Tyler Wilson’s primary target in Paul Petrino’s offenses. He recorded career highs and set season records with 90 receptions and 1,335 yards. He also set the SEC record for receiving yards in a game against Rutgers with 303 yards on 10 receptions. Hamilton was drafted in the sixth round of this year’s draft by the Cincinnati Bengals where he is making big strides this preseason and will likely get some touches this year, opposite All-Pro AJ Green.

See you in 11 days.

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