Mustain tells paper he has reopened recruitment

Updated: December 12, 2005, 3:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- Quarterback Mitch Mustain, who had committed to Arkansas, has reopened his recruitment, a newspaper reported.

ESPN.com ranks Mustain as the second best high school quarterback recruit in the nation. Overall, he is ranked as the seventh-best recruit in the United States.

Mustain told The Morning News that he's met with Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt and offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, Mustain's high school coach hired last week to call plays for the Razorbacks. To make room for Malzahn, the Razorbacks had quarterbacks coach Roy Wittke step down.

"I knew that if Coach Nutt was going to hire an offensive coordinator, regardless of who he chose, it would likely mean the firing of Coach Wittke," Mustain said of the coach who recruited him at Arkansas.

Last week, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper of Little Rock, citing Mustain's mother Beck Campbell, reported that Mustain was "in limbo" about where he would go to college. She later distanced herself from the report.

"We're in the process of trying to put out fires that somebody decided to start -- beyond our control. Right now, until that gets straightened out, I can't comment on anything," Campbell said.

She told the Democrat-Gazette that Mustain was influenced by the then-uncertainty regarding Wittke and the return of assistant David Cutcliffe to Tennessee. Cutcliffe coached both Peyton and Eli Manning.

In The Morning News report, Mustain wouldn't name the schools on his list or detail his reasons for backing out of his commitment to the Razorbacks.

"Out of respect for the people involved, I don't want to get into details about it," Mustain told the newspaper.

Mustain, who threw for 3,817 yards and 47 touchdowns this season, has several weeks to make a decision. National signing day is Feb. 1.

Mustain was named last week as the Gatorade national football player of the year.

Nutt and Malzhan can't comment on Mustain because it is against NCAA rules to discuss any recruit before they have signed with the school.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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