Mitch Mustain chooses Arkansas

Springdale quarterback Mitch Mustain announces his decision to The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas' Kurt Voigt.

SPRINGDALE — The question that has been asked for more than a month has been answered.

Mitch Mustain is going to play football in college at ... The University of Arkansas.

And this time he's certain of his decision.

Mustain, the Springdale quarterback who committed the Razorbacks before the season, only to withdraw that commitment two days after the Bulldogs' season ended, made his decision public Monday evening. Mustain told Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, his former coach at Springdale High, of his decision Monday afternoon and Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt later in the evening.

"This time around, I've exhausted every option out there," Mustain told The Morning News. "This time, I honestly feel better now than I did in August when I committed."

Mustain initially committed to the Razorbacks on Aug. 15 before a statewide television audience. He later withdrew that commitment in a meeting with Nutt, saying he was uncertain about some issues surrounding an Arkansas program which had just finished a 4-7 season.

On Monday, Mustain said all of his questions about the Razorbacks had been answered — thanks in large part to a meeting last Friday morning at 12:01 a.m. with the entire offensive coaching staff. The meeting took place so late to avoid meeting during the NCAA recruiting dead period and helped ease any concerns the top-ranked quarterback in the country had about the direction of an Arkansas offense which struggled in the passing game last season.

Mustain told The Morning News that Arkansas was his first choice all along, but that he had " some things that I wanted cleared up."

Mustain also met with the coaches again later in the day on Friday, including new Razorbacks quarterbacks coach Alex Wood. Part of that discussion involved Wood telling Mustain that Arkansas would only use the former Bulldog next season — foregoing his redshirt year — if he supplants current Arkansas quarterbacks Casey Dick, Alex Mortenson and Robert Johnson.

Wood and Malzahn, the former Springdale coach who was hired by the Razorbacks in December just days after his team captured the Class AAAAA state title, also met with Mustain in an in-home visit Sunday evening, but that meeting was less about football than it was about simply enjoying dinner and watching highlight videos — with the bulk of the on the field discussions having already been completed.

With his decision out of the way, Mustain said Monday night he was ready for the phone calls to end and for things to "get back to normal."

He's also looking ahead to suiting up for the college he's never lived more than 20 minutes away from in his life, taking time to thank both the Razorbacks coaches and Arkansas fans who were patient with him while he made "the most important decision of my life."

"I'm excited just to get up there and get started," Mustain told The Morning News. "Honestly, I wish I could be up there for the spring I'm so ready to get going."


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