FAYETTEVILLE — Tweeting, “I’m coming home,” former Little Rock Parkview and University of Missouri defensive tackle Markell Utsey announced Sunday on Twitter he’ll conclude his collegiate career as an Arkansas Razorback.
A couple of hours later, defensive tackle John Ridgeway of Illinois State who also had submitted his name in the NCAA transfer portal, announced he is joining Coach Sam Pittman’s Razorbacks.
Offered first by Arkansas, Ridgeway weighed offers from Texas, Tennessee, Southern California, and Arizona State and Big Ten schools Michigan, Iowa, Penn State and Indiana before.
was the first to offer. However then Texas, Indiana, Penn State, USC, Michigan, Iowa, Arizona State and Tennessee all followed with offers.
“I want to thank all the schools who showed interest in me and offering me,” Ridgeway posted on social media. “I am extremely blessed for the opportunities. But at this time after thoroughly weighing my options, I have decided to commit to the University of Arkansas!!!”
Ridgeway, 6-6, 325, of Bloomington, Ill. played four games in Illinois State’s because of covid spring schedule before opting out anticipating a full fall slate.
For those four games he logged 22 tackles, 14 solo, three for loss, one interception, a pass breakup and three quarterback hurries.
He made 50 tackles in 2019.
Not recruited out of Little Rock Parkview by the then Bret Bielema Arkansas staff but first committing to Arizona, Utsey signed with then Mizzou Coach Barry Odom. Utsey through the transfer portal for his final season rejoins Odom as Odom begins his second year as the defensive coordinator for second-year Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman.
Utsey, 6-4, 295, and a 3-year Mizzou letterman, logged 19 tackles, two for lost yardage, and a pass breakup in nine games for Mizzou last season.