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Alex Collins signs with Arkansas, but the drama might not be over

Football player signs letter of intent, as does dad. But his mom, who had failed to sign papers and reportedly wanted him to attend Miami, hires an attorney.

February 07, 2013|By Gary Klein
  • Alex Collins holds a news conference after signing his letter of intent to play for Arkansas on Thursday. He's flanked by his father, Johnny Collins, and grandmother, Betty Collins.
Alex Collins holds a news conference after signing his letter of intent… (Mike Stocker / McClatchy-Tribune )

College football coaches often emphasize the importance of recruiting family members as well as the players who are the objects of their affection.

Latest case in point: Alex Collins.

The highly touted running back from South Plantation High in Florida signed a letter of intent with Arkansas on Thursday, another flash point in a family drama that played out over two days and looks as if it will continue.

"Alex is a great addition to this class," Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "He made it clear to us that he truly wanted to be a Razorback, which is what we want from everyone we sign."

Bielema might want to touch base about that with Andrea McDonald, Collins' mother.

On Wednesday, during a ceremony at Collins' school at which he was expected to sign with the Razorbacks, McDonald reportedly left without signing the document because she wanted her son to attend the University of Miami, which is closer to home.

For athletes younger than 21, national letters of intent are not valid unless they are signed by a parent or legal guardian.

On Thursday, Collins' father signed the letter of intent, making Collins a Razorback.

"I talked to Mom and let her know," Collins told the Miami Herald. "I explained myself and we got a better understanding."

Which doesn't necessarily mean everyone is on the same page. McDonald has retained an attorney.

Jack Paris, an attorney with the Cochran Firm, said in a statement that McDonald was aware the father had signed the letter to Arkansas, but "our client's initial intentions remain unchanged." He added that she was "a loving and caring mother who only wants her son to choose a university without any outside and inappropriate influences," and that his firm was "standing by Ms. McDonald in this difficult time and has made all of the firm's resources available to her as she explores her options."

gary.klein@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimesklein

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