Mustain Keeps Mum On Plans

SPRINGDALE -- Springdale quarterback Mitch Mustain, his mother Beck Campbell and Bulldogs coach Gus Malzahn continued to publicly decline comment on Mustain's future plans on Tuesday, preferring to focus on a trip to New York this week.

Mustain and his mother left Tuesday evening for New York, where the 6-foot-3, 202-pound Bulldogs quarterback, rated as the No. 1 passer in the country by some, will be recognized as one of three finalists for the Parade All-America High School Player of the Year award. They will be joined today by Malzahn, his wife, Kristi, and Mitch's younger brother, Matt.

The Parade award will be announced at a dinner on Jan. 6 before the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game a day later in San Antonio, a game which Mustain and Springdale offensive lineman Bartley Webb have been selected to.

On Tuesday, Mustain was honored at a ceremony at Bulldog Gymnasium in front of the Springdale High student body for his selection as the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. Mustain found out about the selection at a surprise party in his honor Monday evening.

"I'm honored," said Mustain, who on Saturday led the Bulldogs to the Class AAAAA state championship with a 54-20 win over West Memphis, capping a 14-0 season.

On Monday evening, sources confirmed that Mustain had withdrawn his commitment to play football at the University of Arkansas in college in a meeting with Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt earlier that day.

On Tuesday, a bevy of television cameras, photographers and reporters awaited Mustain at the ceremony, though all were told prior to the event that no questions related to his recruitment would be allowed.

However, the lack of public discussion about Mustain's future plans didn't stop state Sen. Jim Holt, R-Springdale, who made it clear where a co-worker of his felt the Bulldogs quarterback should play. Holt was at the event to present a certificate honoring Mustain's achievements from the state Senate, and while presenting the certificate, Holt told Mustain in front of the crowd what the person who wrote the certificate thought about Mustain's future.

"She said, 'You let him know that if he decides to go anywhere else but to Arkansas to school and the Razorbacks, that we might have to reclaim this certificate,'" Holt said to a mixed reaction from the crowd.

Following the ceremony, during which Springdale Mayor Jerre Van Hoose declared Dec. 6 "Mitch Mustain Day," Mustain stood in front of all the cameras to answer questions about the award. Springdale assistant coach Dennis DeBusk stood by his side to make sure none of the questions pertained to Mustain's recruitment.

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