Signing day for high school student-athletes is supposed to be one of the most memorable days in their lives, but for ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins it was memorable for all the wrong reasons: His mother refused to sign letter of intent papers with Arkansas.
According to ESPN.com, Andrea McDonald, Collins’ mother, refused to sign the papers Wednesday because she wanted her son to stay closer to home. She preferred that Collins sign with the University of Miami.
McDonald showed up at her son’s school Wednesday morning to sign the papers but unexpectedly left without doing so, according to two sources close to the website.
Collins’ older brother, Johnny, told the Miami Herald that he and the family are hoping that Alex Collins reconsiders his decision and chooses 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.”
Collins, who is 5-feet-11 and 200 pounds, verbally committed to Arkansas on Monday. He chose the Razorbacks over Miami, Florida, Wisconsin and Florida State. But Collins had been a longtime commit to Miami until he reopened his recruitment again in November.
Collins’ decision came as a surprise to family members because he did not discuss his change of heart with them. Johnny said that the family learned of the decision during a live television broadcast on Fox Sports South on Monday.
Collins is ranked 57th by ESPN, running for 1,276 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior season at South Plantation High School.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema appeared on ESPNU’s broadcast of national signing day, but could not comment on the Collins situation because of NCAA rules and having not received the letter of intent.
The letter of intent, according the NCAA website, requires that a parent or legal guardian sign if the student-athlete is under the age of 21.
Neither McDonald nor South Plantation head coach Doug Gatewood were available for comment.
Despite the situation, Collins took to his Twitter account: “Everything is going to be alright.”