PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – After almost 24 hours of uncertainty, running back Alex Collins signed a national letter of intent Thursday with the University of Arkansas.
“It feels good to finally get it out of the way and get it over with,” Collins told CBS4′s Jim Berry first Thursday afternoon.
Collins, a 5’11”, 207 pound running back from South Plantation High School declared his intention to sign with Arkansas on Monday evening. The four-star running back, according to Rivals.com, was considered one of the top running backs in the nation.
Web Extra: Collins’ Signing Day Ceremony
Collins was heavily recruited by most schools and narrowed his choices down to the University of Miami or Arkansas before selecting the Razorbacks Monday. However, his family, specifically his mom, wasn’t happy with his decision to leave South Florida and refused to sign the papers.
Collins sought out his father after his mother refused to sign the papers Wednesday.
“I have always had a relationship with my dad,” Collins said. “I love my dad. He came to my football games. It’s just he lives in Hallandale and I live in Fort Lauderdale. It meant a lot to me to get him here. The reason he wasn’t there yesterday is that his cell phone was off and I couldn’t get in contact with him and let him know when and where.”
Collins’ father was a man of few words as he spoke to CBS4, but did say his advice to his son was to “follow his heart.”
Collins said he still loves his mom and holds no hard feelings towards her.
“It’s not necessarily her not wanting me to go to Arkansas. It was because she cares about me so much that she doesn’t want me to make the wrong decision. I respect her and understand why she did it to really give me time to really think about it,” Collins said. “It was her making sure I made the right decision.”
Collins’ mother, Andrea McDonald, hired the Cochran Firm to “represent the family’s interests while she contemplates on signing the NCAA’s Letter of Intent that will decide where the South Plantation High School running back will play,” according to a release from the Cochran Firm.
“This is a very tough decision and they are weighing their options very carefully,” the Cochran Firm release stated.
McDonald wasn’t at the signing ceremony Thursday in Plantation.
“She’s fine,” Collins said. “You guys are okay,” CBS4′s Jim Berry asked. “Yes sir,” Collins replied.
“I never knew that this would be the situation,” Collins said. “I would have assumed that I would have signed on signing day. It’s unexpected, but it’s just something that doesn’t normally happen.”
Arkansas was said to be very patient with Collins as he dealt with his family issues over the last 24 hours.
The decision for Collins, as a running back, makes sense joining first-year head coach Bret Bielema at Arkansas.
Bielema ran a smash-mouth offense while at the University of Wisconsin that constantly produced some of the top running backs in the country. If Bielema keeps the same style of offense, Collins could be in line for major recognition in the Arkansas offense.
Originally, Collins was a University of Miami recruit until last November.
“I committed there but I decided to open things up because I had never been out of Broward County,” Collins said. “I fell in love with Arkansas and that’s why I made my decision to go there.”
Collins said the potential sanctions against the University of Miami didn’t play a role in his decision and that former UM head coach, and current Arkansas coach, Randy Shannon didn’t play a part in his final decision.