Redshirt freshman changes mind about transferring

Updated: January 14, 2006, 3:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Instead of transferring to Georgia Southern, quarterback Alex Mortensen has changed his mind and decided to continue playing at Arkansas, the player's father, Chris Mortensen of ESPN, and Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said Saturday.

On Jan. 6, Chris Mortensen said that his son would transfer to Division I-AA Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga., for next season. But on Thursday, Alex Mortensen had a meeting with Nutt and the coach said he could rejoin the Razorbacks.

On Friday, the player decided he would remain at Arkansas.

"Coach Nutt was gracious enough to allow Alex back into the Razorback family," Chris Mortensen told The Associated Press. "Alex is very humbled by that act."

Alex Mortensen, a redshirt freshman who was an all-state quarterback for Landmark Christian School in the Atlanta area, chose Arkansas over LSU as he graduated high school in 2004. He played in four games for the Razorbacks last season, coming off the bench in each of them. He finished the year behind Casey Dick and Robert Johnson on the depth chart.

"He wanted to explore his options, and coach Nutt granted him that permission," Chris Mortensen said. "Alex was re-energized by the process when he realized how many prominent Division I schools still valued him as a genuine Division I talent.

"He had narrowed his choices to Louisville or go back to Arkansas, but around Christmas time, [former Jacksonville Jaguars assistant] Brian VanGorder had just been named coach of Georgia Southern.

"He was really excited by the idea that he could go play at the most prominent Division I-AA program without having to sit out a year.

"It got on a fast track and Alex committed to Georgia Southern last weekend. When he actually went down to Statesboro, he was tormented by his prior commitment to Arkansas and his teammates, and he realized he couldn't bring closure to that part of his football life.

"So he apologized to both coach VanGorder and coach Nutt, who was gracious enough to take him back," Chris Mortensen said.

Nutt said he believed Alex Mortensen made a hasty decision.

"We wouldn't do this for everyone," Nutt said. "But Alex is a very good person who has excellent character and an excellent work ethic. He's always had a great attitude and been a team player. He's the type of guy you'd always like to have in your program."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE