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By Zac Ellis
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Mitchell will transfer to another program, the school announced on Monday. Mitchell will graduate from Arkansas this summer and be eligible to play immediately elsewhere this fall.
In a statement, coach Bret Bielema also announced defensive end Austin Flynn, safety Defonta Lowe and kick returner Keante Minor were granted releases.
“After concluding post-spring meetings with every member of our team, Austin Flynn, Defonta Lowe, Keante Minor and Brandon Mitchell have been granted their release from the University of Arkansas football program. Through meetings with these student-athletes, a determination was made that it would be mutually beneficial for them to pursue their goals elsewhere. Brandon is on track to earn his degree this summer and utilize the NCAA graduate transfer exception to play immediately this fall. We fully support them and wish them all the best moving forward.”
Some of you may already be aware that, thanks to his wife’s influence, Bret Bielema lives in the same house as a teacup Yorkie named Lucy. This is a favorite bit of trivia in the hallowed halls of Campus Union HQ, because we enjoy visualizing the unassailably brahsome Bielema toting a purse dog around the house on his shoulder or something. Those of you not tracking Bielema on social media may not be aware of the epic battle he and the dog have been engaged in this week:
Thankfully, late last night Bielema reported the two had come to a peaceful resolution:
Finally over! Finally a razorback! I'm glad this is over alot of weight off my shoulders happy to be a hog! The camo suit was for the fans!!—
alexander collins (@Budda03) February 07, 2013
L’affaire Alex Collins, the brightest flare-up on a National Signing Day otherwise populated with low-grade fireworks, has fizzled back to earth with as little fanfare as it began. Mallory Rubin stitched together the rough details of yesterday’s events, which culminated with Collins’ mother absconding with his NLI in an effort to prevent him from signing with Arkansas. Today, as expected, Collins followed through with the Razorbacks. His father provided the parent signature. Bret Bielema released the following statement through the university’s athletic department:
“Alex is a great addition to this class. He is an upstanding young man who has impressed us throughout our time getting to know him, and he focused on making a decision that was the best for him athletically, academically and socially. He has high character and is a student-athlete we are thrilled to bring into our family. He made it clear to us that he truly wanted to be a Razorback, which is what we want from everyone we sign. Our goal was to add two running backs in this class to help us with numbers at the position, and Alex was a priority for his on-field impact and the person he is off the field. We have coaches on our staff with tremendous relationships in South Florida that have been crucial for us in this class, and we will continue to establish Arkansas as a choice for top student-athletes from that area. I am looking forward to having this class become part of our family and watching them grow over the next several years.”
By Mallory Rubin
Update: CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported Thursday morning that Collins is ready to sign with Arkansas.
Alex Collins, a four-star running back from South Plantation, Fla., has gotten caught up in some classic Signing Day Mama Drama.
Collins went on television Monday night to verbally commit to Arkansas, and while Hogs’ coach Bret Bielema was presumably thrilled to land the blue-chip rusher, it appears that not everyone was pleased with the development. Midday Wednesday, reports surfaced stating that Collins had canceled his afternoon high school ceremony because he needed more time to think. Then, things got really interesting. It turns out Collins’ mother wants her son to stay closer to their Florida home, reportedly preferring the Miami Hurricanes to the Razorbacks. How adamant is she? Well…
ESPNU: Arkansas commit Alex Collins' mom "confiscated his papers" & left. But there's not too much pressure on these kids, right?—
Jon Solomon (@jonsol) February 06, 2013
That’s right: According to ESPN’s Corey Long, Collins’ mother snatched her son’s National Letter of Intent and fled before Collins could send his fax to Arkansas. For the uninitiated: Underage recruits need a parent or guardian to sign the NLI in order to make it valid. Collins is 18, but recruits younger than 21 need a co-signature. From the NCAA’s NLI Frequently Asked Questions hub:
Tommy Tuberville’s sitting by the phone* and Jimmy Sexton’s got that particular sparkle in his eye. It can mean only one thing: The coach firin’ season is upon us once more. We’ll be tracking the carousel of progress, right here, for as long as it takes to stop spinning. Raise a glass to times past, won’t you? * Well, not anymore, but never tell us we don’t have the gift of very specific prophecy through throwaway jokes.
New Mexico State [updated 02.01.2013]
• Who’s out: DeWayne Walker, who jumps to the NFL with less than two weeks remaining between now and Signing Day. And not even for a coordinating gig: Walker will coach defensive backs for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Walker released the following statement through the athletic department: “I really appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Boston and New Mexico State gave me to be a Division I head football coach. Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint. But, we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward. There are a lot of people that I want to thank for their support and will be reaching out to those individuals in the coming days. They have helped me in moving the program forward. I am excited about starting a new chapter in my coaching career, as is my family. I wish New Mexico State great success in the future and wish everyone the best. Go Aggies!” • Who’s in: Doug Martin — the one who played at Kentucky, not the one who played at Boise State. Although if Martin The Younger is really so opposed to his excellent nickname, we’re gonna refer to Martin The Elder as coach Muscle Hamster instead. It’s been a whirlwind courtship for Martin and the Aggies: He was announced as offensive coordinator on January 17, temporarily promoted to interim head coach on January 24 and will be officially announced as DeWayne Walker’s successor on Monday, February 4. Martin’s previous head coaching experience consists of a seven-year stint at Kent State, from 2004-2010. Read More…
• Hey, thanks, catlab. For the night terrors that will surely stretch into the weekend. What is it about an upside-down Lil’ Red that’s so starkly upsetting?
• Blue pig sooie. Former Arkansas coaches think the widely publicized expiration date on John L. Smith’s 2012 contract made last year’s Razorbacks quit-happy. It’s not the first time last season’s squad has been accused of giving up by a party within the program, but Knile Davis takes exception to the characterization:
Quit?This is my take on it!!! twitter.com/BoobieKnile_Er…
— Knile_0r_Never (@BoobieKnile_Era) January 31, 2013
Florida incoming transfer Darious Cummings is going by “Bear” Cummings. What do you guys want to be called?
— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) January 15, 2013
• How would he feel about “Bearious” for more formal occasions? If we’re all supposed to be taking after forest creatures for a fresh new look for spring 2013, we would like to be referred to from here on as “Killer Otter.” Thank you for your attention to this matter.
• And speaking of spring. Army’s spring game, which graced our neck of the woods at Fort Benning last year, continues its freshly-established traveling tradition with a March 8 scrimmage set to take place at Fort Hood, Texas.
• The Coliseum just needs a place to crash for a few days, until it gets things figured out. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission is behind in its rent, per the L.A. Times, but once it gets its free-range vegan water bottle business up and running things are really going to turn around. It’s not a pyramid scheme. It’s not!
• That’s a helluva windbreak. Texas Tech approves plans for a “freestanding high-definition video board,” theoretically to be installed and operational in time for the 2013 season.