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In college football recruiting, mother knows best… right?

Alex Collins, Khyri Thornton AP

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?

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6 Responses to “In college football recruiting, mother knows best… right?”
  1. elwaysagenius says: Feb 3, 2014 8:42 PM

    Hoping that a recruits mother pulls an elaborate hoax where the recruit thinks he is signing for one school, while his mother has actually forged a schools stationary paper, and she copies the signature onto the LOI of her choice.

  2. rcali says: Feb 3, 2014 9:19 PM

    Maybe mom and son need to have a few more conversations about what each school has offered under the table.

  3. 21stnprime says: Feb 4, 2014 2:45 AM

    Matthew Thomas mom ended up getting him a ring

  4. classyjacklambert says: Feb 4, 2014 7:48 AM

    Remember when Nkemdiche said he was going to go to Clemson last year? Then his mom said “no I want you to go to the most racist school in the south!” so he chose ole miss instead and no one has heard from him since.

  5. philliesblow says: Feb 4, 2014 9:22 AM

    If Malik McDowell goes where he wants to go, momma’s gonna be mad.

    “We don’t want him at MSU,” Malik’s mother, Joya Crowe, said Monday night, and she gave multiple reasons.

    “Something happened, I don’t want to put it out there what it was,” she said of her son’s recent official visit, “but I had a bad experience at MSU.”

    Asked to elaborate, she said: “It was something on my end, I don’t want to get into specifics.”

  6. Professor Fate says: Feb 5, 2014 12:27 AM

    Sad to see so many parents who just can’t let go and let their kids live their own lives.

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