Arkansas recruit remains unsigned
RecruitingNation: Arkansas recruit's mom swipes fax
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins still has not signed his letter of intent with Arkansas, and as of Wednesday evening there had not been a resolution.
Earlier in the day, Collins' mother, Andrea McDonald, refused to sign the letter of intent papers. Sources said she preferred Collins stay closer to home and sign with the University of Miami.
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McDonald arrived at the school at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday to sign the papers but abruptly left without signing, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
Collins' older brother, Johnny, told the Miami Herald the family hoped Collins would re-consider Miami.
"I would prefer him to go to Miami, too, because it would be a better program for him, a better environment," Johnny Collins said. "He could get home faster and it's more convenient if Mom wants to go to a game -- instead of having to fly to Arkansas."
The National Letter of Intent, according to the NCAA's official website, is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution. "If you are under the age of 21, regardless of marital status, your parent or legal guardian must sign the NLI in order for it to be considered valid," the website states. An earlier version of this story said McDonald did not have to sign the papers.
Per NCAA rules and because he hasn't received a signed letter of intent, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, appearing on ESPNU's broadcast of national signing day, said he could not talk about Collins.
"The family was not on the same page and needed to work things out," said school athletic director Mike Collins, who is not related to Alex.
Attempts to reach South Plantation head coach Doug Gatewood and McDonald were unsuccessful. The high school was closed off to all media Wednesday.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Collins, ranked 57th by ESPN, verbally committed to Arkansas on Monday, choosing the Razorbacks over Miami, Florida, Wisconsin and Florida State. He made his commitment during a Fox Sports South broadcast that also included No. 1 ESPN 150 inside linebacker Reuben Foster announcing his decision to play for Alabama.
Collins had been a longtime commit to Miami until he reopened his recruitment in November. He ran for 1,276 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior season.
Collins has stayed relatively quiet for much of his recruitment and today he only sent a tweet later from his account that simply said, "Everything is going to be alright."
Collins' teammate and best friend, John Franklin, said Collins was dealing with the situation as well as could be expected.
"He's pretty upset about everything but I think things are going to get worked out," said Franklin, who signed with Florida State on Wednesday. "At least they are talking right now. It's been pretty tough on Alex since he made the decision."
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