Mustain Takes To (Passer) Friendly Skies

FAYETTEVILLE -- One wouldn't think one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation would have much time to get distracted during late-season football practice.

But in early November, just a couple weeks before he would lead Springdale to the Class AAAAA state championship, Mitch Mustain looked up and found his concentration going elsewhere.

Springdale's airport is not far from Springdale High school.

"One day during football practice, I was standing around looking at the airplanes, so I thought I'd come up (there) and get a job."

Mustain had always had an interest in aviation, so a job at the airport seemed like a natural fit.

By the end of November, he had a job there, fueling jets and doing whatever else needed to be taken care of at the airport.

It wasn't the only time airplanes took a bit of Mustain's attention on the football field.

At the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio earlier this month, Mustain's squad practiced close to the San Antonio airport.

It didn't hurt him at all, though, as he turned in what many called the best week of practice among the All-America players invited.

Now that the circus surrounding his decision to reopen his recruitment and ultimately recommit to Arkansas has died down, Mustain is back to being a normal teenager, working to earn a little extra money.

"It's a lot of fun for me," Mustain said. "Things have calmed down a lot. The first day or two (after his commitment) was kind of crazy and now it's just back to normal. It's kind of weird, but I enjoy it."

Mustain said he wouldn't change a thing about how he reached his final decision.

"I did what I did for a reason, and if I had it all to do over again, I'd do it exactly the same," Mustain said. "You couldn't pay me to do it again, though."

He looks forward to getting Wednesday's signing over with.

"Thursday morning I'll wake up and I'll be the past," Mustain said. "I can't wait for that. They'll be talking about somebody else."

Running former Springdale coach Gus Malzahn's hurry-up, no-huddle offense will be an adjustment for the current Arkansas players, Mustain said.

"We're not going to come out off the bat and take over the world, but I think later on, once we get the group in that's been running it the entire time, it'll be a lot of fun to watch," he said.

Knowing that system, though, will help ease his, Damian Williams', Ben Cleveland's and Andrew Norman's transition to the college game, though.

"Half the battle is learning what to do and where to go with the ball," Mustain said. "So we've pretty much eliminated that part of it, and now we can focus on adjusting to the game speed."

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