Springdale High School has a lot of talent returning for the 2005 football season; Wide receiver Andrew Norman, Russ Greenlee (cornerback), Bartley Webb (offensive tackle), Ben Cleveland (tight end), Aaron Finch (defensive line/linebacker) and Damian Williams (wide receiver). All those players are already getting looks from Division I football schools, but the guy at the glamour position could be one of the best in the country – quarterback Mitch Mustain.
Mustain is getting recruiting material from nearly every program from around the country, but this Arkansas athlete has stayed pretty humble throughout. When I asked him about his team's success, he talked about his teammates. When I asked him to compare his style to a professional quarterback, he deferred saying that he wasn't even at a level where you could make a comparison. When I asked him about when he started getting recruited, he seemed surprised by the all the attention.
"I guess I really wasn't concerned about recruiting, then the last month or two, things really started to pick up. I have 12 offers now. Arkansas offered me last year. Then it has kind of gotten crazy the last couple months. Michigan State offered in January; then Texas, Ole Miss, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Oklahoma, Kansas, Houston, LSU, and Texas A&M.
Like nearly every kid growing up under the shadow of the University of Arkansas, Mustain rooted for the Razorbacks.
"I grew up an Arkansas fan. They were the only school in the state, so that was the team you rooted for," explained Mustain. "I still like Arkansas and they were the first to offer me, but I'm wide open right now. I'm going to consider everybody. I'm open to going out of state. I want to find a place where I can play and help the team win."
"Right now I'm just gathering information, trying to find out more about schools," he responded when asked if he was concentrating on a certain group of schools.
There is one school Mustain didn't mention, and that was Notre Dame. Is there a chance Notre Dame will have a shot at this southern star?
"Notre Dame is sending me stuff," said Mustain. "They haven't offered, but I'm definitely interested in them."
"It's a tradition rich program. It's a school I have a lot of interest in," he added.
Mustain is aware of the coaching change at Notre Dame and he certainly sounded intrigued by the new staff.
"Coach Weis definitely looks like a good choice. All you have to do is look at where he came from (NFL), so you know what they will be able to do with the program," he said.
"I don't know as much about coach Cutcliffe, but his experience is impressive."
"On my spring break, I'm going to swing up north a visit Notre Dame. I think we'll stop at Louisville first and the go to Notre Dame. If it's possible, Michigan and Michigan State, but I'm not sure about that yet – we're still trying to work out the details."
Comments: Even though Mustain grew up in Arkansas' backyard, I really think he is wide open. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if he ended up going to school out of state. He is definitely interested in Notre Dame as evidenced by his planned trip during spring break. Irish Eyes will check back with Mitch after the visit in order to get his impression of the Notre Dame campus.