football

Arkansas commits, recruits react to news

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HAWGSPORTS.COM: Petrino done at Arkansas
After almost a week of speculation it was announced on Tuesday that the University of Arkansas decided to fire head coach Bobby Petrino after he ran into some off-the-field problems.
Petrino was very successful in Fayetteville, compiling a record of 21-5 over the past two seasons, and the Razorback team is expected to be a preseason top 10 program this fall.
With it becoming official that Petrino would be let go, news quickly spread to recruits across the country.
The Razorbacks currently have two pledges in the class of 2013 and one of them has already opened up his recruitment.
"My family and I talked and we decided I should de-commit from Arkansas," Manvel, Texas wide receiver Austin Bennett said, "I will be checking out other places like West Virginia and TCU. TCU has been talking to me more lately since all this hit."
"I'm still going to be looking at Arkansas but it really depends on who they hire. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet."
Katy (Texas) Cinco Ranch running back Jamel James has been committed to Arkansas since his sophomore year. The three-star prospect is not sure what he will do now though.
"We've talked about it," Cinco Ranch head coach Don Clayton said. "It's definitely a concern of his. He's still committed to Arkansas but a lot of other schools are talking to him too. I can't say for sure what he will do."
[ More: Complete Arkansas coverage on HawgSports.com ]
Though they are not currently committed to Arkansas, plenty of other prospects are considering the Razorbacks as well. Missouri City (Texas) Elkins linebacker Keree Renchie says nothing has changed his opinion of the school.
"It doesn't affect me at all," Renchie said. "Arkansas is still there as one of my top three schools. I don't see this changing anything. I'm going to keep it that way with them up there."
However, other Razorback targets are taking a more cautious approach to the situation.
"Arkansas was my second offer and I really like the school," Denham Springs, La. running back Kaleb Blanchard said. "Right now I'm just going to let everything play out. They're going through a big mess.
"I am disappointed with what happened but Arkansas is one of my favorites not just as a school for football but a school for education. As of right now Arkansas is still up there but I'm just going to wait and see how everything turns out and how they handle the situation."
Tahlequah (Okla.) Sequoyah quarterback Brayden Scott has strong ties to the university and has held an Arkansas offer for quite some time. While he was disappointed by the news he is not writing off the Razorbacks by any stretch of the imagination.
"I like Bobby Petrino," Scott said. "I have a good relationship with him and the rest of the staff. I hope all the other guys keep their jobs. I like coach Petrino. If I was going to be a Hog, I really wish he would have been my coach. With that said, you don't always get what you want in this business.
"I still love the Hogs though. I'm still looking at them exactly the same as I was before all this."
Another quarterback that was recently offered by Arkansas somewhat echoes those sentiments as well.
"I was definitely caught off guard," Ryan Buchanan pf Jackson (Miss.) Prep said." It's Bobby Petrino. Coming from a quarterback, that's huge because of his offenses."
"Right now, I still have Arkansas the way I viewed them before. I still have them up there. But I want to see who the head coach is of course. I'll wait and see who the head coach is. Right now, I'm not completely turning Arkansas off. But I'm definitely interested in seeing who they hire.
Four-star running back Mark Dodson Jr. of Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven has had the Razorbacks in his top three for quite some time but he is not sure what to think now.
"Man, it's pretty hard," Dodson said. "I look at it like this: Different coach, different program. Every coach has a different philosophy. I really liked him. I liked the fact he had a balanced offensive team. He'd run half the game and pass half the game. You didn't know to expect."
Are the Hogs still in the mix?
"I don't know. I'm going to see who the know coach is going to be. It's really hard."
Keith Niebuhr contributed to this report.
Arkansas AD Jeff Long fires Bobby Petrino:
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