|ESPN.com: Football||[Print without images]|
PLANTATION, Fla. -- ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins signed his national letter of intent with Arkansas on Thursday nearly 24 hours after he intended to, because his mother refused to sign the paperwork.
Decked out in camouflage overalls and flanked by his father, Johnny Collins, his aunt Loretta Collins and his grandmother Beverly Collins, Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) signed the letter at Bokamper's sports bar.
Collins joked with his father and his best friend, John Franklin, showing no signs of stress from Wednesday's incident involving his mother, Andrea McDonald.
His mother was not present at the ceremony, but she hired The Cochran Firm to represent her in case of litigation.
"Alex's family has been overwhelmed with media inquiries regarding their impending decision," attorney Jack Paris said in a statement. "They want to make a clean choice that is free of any outside influences. This is a very tough decision and they are weighing their options very carefully. In the meantime, they have requested The Cochran Firm's assistance in clearing up any false or inaccurate statements in the press."
Alex Collins said he holds no grudge against his mother and said they spoke before he arrived at his ceremony.
"She just wanted to make sure I was making the right decision," Collins said. "She was concerned about me being so far away from home and how I could handle it."
Johnny Collins said he did not hear about the incident until Alex called him Wednesday night.
"I did not know what was going on and Alex called and said his mother wouldn't sign the paper," Johnny Collins said. "I am going to support my son in any decision."
Alex Collins chose the Razorbacks over Miami, Florida, Wisconsin and Florida State on a Fox Sports South broadcast Monday night. Now he is ready to move on.
"Arkansas is my new home, and I'm just ready get started with my career there," Collins said. "It's a happy day for me, and I'm just excited about my future."
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Collins is ranked 57th by ESPN. He ran for 1,276 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior season at South Plantation.
Sources told ESPN that McDonald would have preferred Collins to stay closer to home and sign with Miami.
The signature of a parent or legal guardian is required for a student-athlete under the age of 21 for a binding agreement with an NCAA member institution to be valid.