Backup QB Brandon Mitchell one of four Arkansas players granted release
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]rkansas coach Bret Bielema named sophomore Brandon Allen the team’s starting quarterback at the conclusion of spring drills. Now, Allen’s primary competitor for the job, junior Brandon Mitchell, has decided to transfer.
Mitchell was one of four players that Bielema granted a release from their scholarship, the school announced Monday.
Senior defensive end Austin Flynn, junior wide receiver Keante Minor and sophomore defensive back Defonta Lowe were also granted releases by the school.
“Through meetings with these student-athletes, a determination was made that it would be mutually beneficial for them to pursue their goals elsewhere,” Bielema said in a statement.
“Brandon is on track to earn his degree this summer and utilize the NCAA graduate transfer exception to play immediately this fall. We fully support them and wish them all the best moving forward.”
Mitchell (6-4, 230) was Tyler Wilson’s backup in 2011, and moved to wide receiver last season. He caught caught 17 passes for 272 yards.
The Amite, La. native went back to quarterback this spring, and the battle between he and Allen was considered a close one.
Following the Razorbacks’ spring game, Bielema released a depth chart with Allen as No. 1 QB. He said it was Allen’s ability to protect the ball and avoid negative plays that put him ahead, and hinted that Mitchell might be asked to move back to receiver.
Bielema announced in March that Flynn would transfer. During his first season with the Razorbacks in 2012, Flynn played in 12 games and was credited with 10 tackles.
The Torrance, Calif. native played his first two seasons at Los Angeles Harbor C.C.
Fynn was arrested in February for driving while intoxicated, but Bielema later said his departure was because of academic reasons.
Minor (6-0, 205) saw action in 21 games during his two seasons in Fayetteville, primarily as a punt and kickoff returner. He returned nine punts for 55 yards and three kickoffs for 67 yards. He was a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com out of East St. Louis (Ill.) High School in 2011.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Lowe appeared in four games as a true freshman, making one tackle. A Bearden, Ark. native, he was a 3-star recruit in 2012.
Photo credit: Gareth Patterson / AP