Recruits React

Austin Flynn

On a day when it is learned that Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson won't be back, there are developments with Razorback junior college defensive recruits Austin Flynn and Mike Pennel that don't have anything to do with the staff change.

There was some movement on the Arkansas recruiting front on Wednesday, but it had nothing to do with the ousting of Razorback defensive coordinator Willy Robinson.

Just minutes after Scottsdale (AZ) Community College tight end Blake Jackson announced his commitment to Oklahoma State, his teammate Mike Pennel – a 6-5, 345-pound - announced his de-commitment from Arkansas.

"Blake and I had decided that if we were going to play together it would be at Arkansas and that is the main reason I went ahead and committed," Pennel said Wednesday night. "When he decided to go to Oklahoma State, I decided to go in a different direction.

"I didn't even know Coach Robinson had been let go," Pennel said. "Really I haven't even talked to him that much or the defensive line coach (Bobby Allen) much. It was just (offensive line) Coach (Chris) Klenakis and that was kind of weighing on my mind, too."

Pennel also made it clear that the fact that he will no longer be a mid-term graduate – at least under SEC rules - plays into this decision.

"I would not say that Arkansas is totally out of the picture yet," Pennel said. "We'll see who they hire and see if they want to talk to me. But I am going to look at some other schools now, too."

Who are some of those schools?

"I am going to look at ASU (Arizona State University), Washington State, West Virginia and Kansas State," Pennel said. "I think the Big 12 or Pac-12 will probably be the place for me now."

That is not the case with Los Angeles (CA) Harbor defensive end Austin Flynn (6-5, 255, 4.55), who was surprised by Robinson's removal.

"I feel for Coach Robinson because I liked and respected him and I will probably stay in contact with him as he goes along in his career," Flynn said. "I am sure he will land on his feet somewhere because he really knows what he is doing.

"But that will not be a factor in my decision," Flynn said. "Arkansas is a great program and I enjoy all the coaches down there. I look forward to seeing who they bring in."

Flynn – who had 11 sacks and 21 quarterback hurries this season - took his official visit to Arkansas this past weekend, but will not take a scheduled one to Oklahoma this weekend.

"I talked to their coaches today and I am not going to make that trip because I have some classes that they aren't taking," Flynn said.

Flynn said he may take an official visit to Oregon State. That is currently scheduled for Dec. 16-18, but he may move it up to this weekend.

"I think I will take that visit, but I also may just go ahead and commit," Flynn said. "I'll just think about it the next day or two."

o o o

Arkansas defensive end commitment Jamichael Winston confirmed to Scout.com Tuesday that he was still solidly committed to the Razorbacks even with the ouster of Robinson, who was his lead recruiter.

Winston, currently in practice for this weekend's Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Classic, will take his official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 13-15.

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