Alex Collins, Khyri Thornton

In college football recruiting, mother knows best… right?


When it comes to college football recruiting stories it often seems as though moms have a major say in the decision. Mother knows best, right?

In a recent addition to a series of recruiting flashback stories on, Donovan McNabb, who wound up at Syracuse before going on to a lengthy NFL career, shared a story about the time he was asked to help convince Mike Vick to follow in his footsteps at Syracuse. Syracuse had tabbed Vick as their number one recruit and McNabb had done his part in convincing Vick to choose Syracuse for his college football career. McNabb can be charming and convincing, but that was not enough to convince one person; Vick’s mother. Vick’s mom preferred her son to stay close to home in Virginia, and as you no doubt know by now she got her say. Vick attended Virginia Tech for two years and helped bring the Hokies to competing among the best in the country on the football field.

Of course, not every mother has her say when it comes time to submitting that letter of intent.

In 2012, Alabama safety Landon Collins announced his college decision on national television during the Under Armour All-American Game. With April Justin, his mother by his side, Collins announced he would attend Alabama. This did not sit well with his mother, who had her eyes set n Alabama’s division rival.

“I feel that LSU is the better place for him to be,” she said once noticed she lacked any enthusiasm for the decision. “LSU Tigers, No. 1. Go Tigers!”

Fast forward to this year’s Under Armour Game and a similar scene played out. In fact, it even included the same mom. This time another son, Gerald Willis III, announced his decision to go to Florida. Once again, this did not sit well.

“It is what it is, Florida Gators, that’s where we’ll be,” she said. “LSU’s still No. 1.”

One of the more bizarre recruiting stories may have taken place during last year’s national signing day. SEC Freshman of the year and Arkansas running back Alex Collins had his mom swipe his national letter of intent and run off with it, delaying his opportunity to have his joyous moment. His mother reportedly wanted Collins to stay closer to home instead of go to Arkansas and hired a lawyer to fight her case. Fortunately for the Razorbacks, Collins managed to be able to get the situation resolve and he followed through with his desire to be a Razorback. Not to be outdone, there is the case of Matthew Thomas at Florida State, who ended up there in part because his mother would not sign a letter of intent for her son to attend USC.

National Signing Day is this Wednesday. Will any mothers cause a scene or sway the decision in their favor this year?

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”

Illini’s leading rusher, Josh Ferguson, officially ruled out vs. Iowa

Josh Ferguson, Jordan Italiano
Associated Press
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If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.

On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa.  The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.

Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.

Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team.  He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.

With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn.  Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.