FAYETTEVILLE — National Signing Day won't wrap up without some unexpected drama for Arkansas.
South Plantation (Fla.) High running back Alex Collins, who made a verbal commitment to the Razorbacks during a live television broadcast on Monday night, did not participate in his school's signing day ceremony Wednesday morning. Multiple reasons have been reported for the cancelation. The most jaw-dropping of which comes from ESPN's Recruiting Nation, which reported Collins' mom had confiscated his letter-of-intent and left the school with it.
Collins was expected to be a key piece to coach Bret Bielema's first Arkansas class when he made his verbal commitment, which is non-binding, during a Fox Sports South television show Monday. He is rated as a five-star prospect by both Scout.com and 247Sports, which rates Collins as the No. 1 running back in the nation.
The school was prepared for Collins to sign his letter-of-intent Wednesday morning, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. A banner with Collins' name was set up for the ceremony. There was a placard with his name on it, too. But the placard was removed and Collins — who was at the school earlier in the morning — left.
"We’re going to give the family as much time as they need to make the right decision,” South Plantation athletic director Mike Collins told the Sun-Sentinel. “At this time there’s no indication of anything other than the original plan. The family just wants more time.”
In fact, CBSSports.com cited a source as saying Collins is expected to sign with Arkansas by the end of the day but "it's just going to take some time."
Collins originally made a verbal commitment to Miami, but changed his mind in November. He reopened his recruiting and the Razorbacks entered the mix when Bielema and his staff arrived at Arkansas. Wisconsin had recruited Collins since his junior season and the running back said he felt comfortable with Bielema and his staff after an official visit last month.
Collins chose Arkansas over Miami, Florida, Florida State and Wisconsin.
Arkansas coaches are not permitted to comment on Collins until he signs a national letter of intent. However, defensive line coach Charlie Partridge — who has been key in Collins' recruitment for the Razorbacks — appeared to address the situation via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
"Poise...Go Hogs #WPS," Partridge tweeted.