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Alex Collins Says He's "Staying with Arkansas," After His Mom Took LOI

Alex Collins said he would sign with Arkansas on Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    South Plantation High School running back Alex Collins told NBC 6 sports anchor Joe Rose that he's still going to the University of Arkansas – after his mother confiscated his letter of intent to the school. Collins said he decided between Arkansas and the University of Miami, but chose Arkansas because he felt most comfortable there.

    South Florida football prospect Alex Collins said Wednesday that he will be going to the University of Arkansas after all, even after his mother confiscated his letter of intent to the school.

    "Yes sir, I'm staying with Arkansas, I'm just waiting," Collins told NBC 6 South Florida.

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    He said he would sign with Arkansas on Thursday.

    According to ESPN, the South Plantation High School running back had his letter of intent confiscated by his mother, Andrea McDonald, moments before he was set to send it to Arkansas. Collins had been recruited by the University of Miami, Florida State, Florida, and Wisconsin, but chose Arkansas earlier this week.

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    "It's almost overwhelming to try to understand what I'm feeling as a father," Ray Lewis said Wednesday, as his son Ray Lewis III signed a letter of intent to attend UM. The Baltimore Ravens star said it was unreal to see his son following him to his alma mater just a few days after he won the Super Bowl and retired.

    "It's been stressful but I feel a lot of relief after I made my decision," he said on NBC 6's Signing Day special. "I feel like everything will get easier now. I just have to sign that paper, and then everything else will be easy."

    He said the decision came down to Arkansas and UM, but he went with the Razorbacks because he felt most comfortable there.

    Collins' mother does not want him to leave South Florida, according to ESPN. Under NCAA rules, a letter of intent for a student-athlete under the age of 21 must be signed by a parent or guardian in addition to the athlete himself.

    "She’s having anxiety," Collins' older brother Johnny told the Miami Herald Wednesday afternoon. "I know she preferred him to go to UM. Alex had said he was going to the U, and then all of a sudden he changes his mind. We found out he was going to Arkansas on TV."

    Johnny said Alex had not been communicating with his family over the last few days, saying the attention over his decision "is getting to him."

    "I would prefer him to go to Miami, too," Johnny concluded. "Because it would be a better program for him, a better environment. He could get home faster and it’s more convenient if Mom wants to go to a game – instead of having to fly to Arkansas."

    Collins is 57th on the ESPN 150 list of top prospects, the 7th-ranked running back on the list. He had verbally committed to UM before the 2012 season but decommitted in November. He ran for 1,276 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior season at South Plantation.

    Per NCAA rules, coaches cannot discuss any recruit who has not signed a letter of intent, so incoming Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has not commented on the Collins situation.

    "We're going to give the family as much time as they need to make the right decision," South Plantation athletic director Mike Collins (no relation) told the Sun-Sentinel Wednesday. "At this time there's no indication of anything other than the original plan. The family just wants more time."

    Collins was set to officially sign his letter at a signing ceremony at South Plantation High Wednesday morning, but he was not present at the ceremony when it began. Mike Collins said he was in school Wednesday morning, but left later in the morning.

    "It's just a stressful time for him right now," teammate John Franklin told the Sentinel. "Some things happened that I'd rather not speak about because it's his business. I don't want to put it out there."