The end of the Memorial Day weekend brought about a memorable commitment for the University of Arkansas football program.
Springdale offensive lineman Mitch Smothers (6-4, 290) said Tuesday morning that he had chosen the Razorbacks over co-finalists Auburn and defending national champion Alabama.
"It's kind of hard to say no to the national champions, but everything I need is right here in Arkansas and a national championship is where I believe (Arkansas head) Coach (Bobby) Petrino has us headed to also," Smother said. "It's just the right fit for me. It's where I need to be."
Smothers, who becomes the Razorbacks' seventh commitment of the 2011 class, took visits to both Alabama and Auburn over the weekend.
"I went to Alabama on Friday and Auburn on Saturday," Smothers said. "I like (Alabama head) Coach (Nick) Saban and he is very professional. Auburn has a good program also.
"But I just feel like I have all the information that I need to make a decision and that's I want to be a Razorback," Smothers added. "It felt right so there was no use it waiting. It's gotten a little stressful lately and I am glad to have it over with."
Arkansas offensive line coach Chris Klenakis – who would also love to add Springdale Har-Ber offensive lineman Brey Cook (6-7, 310) and Bentonville standout Marcus Danenhauer (6-5, 300) - played a part in Smothers' decision.
"I really like Coach K and I think he really knows his stuff," Smothers said. "He's a guy I can't wait to play for the next four or five years."
Smothers assessed his ability.
"I think one of my strengths is my zone blocking," Smothers said. "I think I can get better with my footwork. There is always something you can work on and get better at every day."
Springdale has a new head coach in Shane Patrick, who took the Red Bulldogs through spring practice.
"It went good," Smothers said. "Coach Patrick is all about discipline. We have four returning starters on the offensive line, a returning starter at quarterback and some good wide receivers. I think we are going to be pretty good."
Arkansas Lands Smothers
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