Charlie Partridge: 'I tried to rattle the trees'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 7, 2013
Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge and the Razorback coaches just went through one of the oddest recruiting stories in some time.
South Florida running back Alex Collins, a former Miami commitment, wanted to go to Arkansas. He had been recruited by Bret Bielema's staff at Wisconsin, and eventually decided that Fayetteville would be his next destination.
But on signing day, his mother confiscated the letter. She didn't want him to go to Arkansas. She wanted him at Miami (FL.), close to home. After a day of drama, he signed with the Razorbacks on Thursday.
Partridge, who had recruited Collins at Wisconsin, was on SportsTalk with Bo Mattingly and discussed the odd situation.
"Honestly, Alex, it's been challenging for him. I've been just trying to be there for him and be an emotional support for him," Partridge said. "Alex knew that Arkansas is where he wanted to go, in his heart and his mind. He had been through the steps, his pros and cons list. This is he wanted to be. This is where he believes he has a chance for his best future.
"The process with him and his mom, it just wasn't there yesterday. She's a good lady. She is. She loves her son. She just wasn't ready to make that commitment, where Alex was."
It has been a busy month for Partridge. He was hired by the Razorbacks in December, but stayed on with Wisconsin through the Rose Bowl.
"I'll give you my timeline: I was coaching in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1," he said. "On Jan. 2, I flew back with my family to Madison. Jan. 3, I flew into Fayetteville and grabbed some shirts and a hat and hugged Coach Bielema, because I hadn't seen him since right after the championship game when we beat Nebraska.
"On the fourth, I was on a plane down to Florida to try and rattle the trees and see who would have interest in the Razorbacks. It's been that way since we've been here. We try to get as much time here with our guys as we possible can. It's been fun, it's been a grind, and I'm excited with the results in a short amount of time."
The Arkansas coaches closed well in recruiting, finishing with the No. 22 class in the nation.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org