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April 20, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mitch Mustain, a freshman quarterback at Arkansas who obtained a release to transfer and left the team in January, is headed for Southern California, according to a published report.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, citing an unnamed source, said Mustain would enroll at USC during the summer semester. He has remained enrolled at Arkansas for the spring semester, but did not participate in the Razorbacks' spring workouts, concluded earlier this month.
As a transfer, Mustain would have to sit out a year at Southern California. Damian Williams, a teammate of Mustain's at Springdale High School who was a Razorback receiver last season, has also enrolled at USC.
Mustain was a Rivals.com five-star prospect coming out of high school in the class of 2006, ranked behind only Georgia's Matthew Stafford among quarterbacks and 10th among all prospects in the Class of 2006 Rivals100. His high school coach at Springdale, Gus Malzahn, led the unbeaten Bulldogs to a state championship that year and then was hired by Arkansas as offensive coordinator. Mustain eventually followed his coach to Arkansas.
But Malzahn took a new job as Tulsa's offensive coordinator after a 10-4 season in which Arkansas relied on its running game -- led by Heisman Trophy runnerup Darren McFadden -- and not the spread, no-huddle, pass-heavy game that Malzahn advocated. Shortly after Malzahn's departure, Mustain asked for and received permission to transfer.
Mustain completed 69 of 132 passes last season, for 894 yards and 10 touchdowns, with 9 interceptions. He started eight straight games for Arkansas in 2006, and all were victories. But he was benched after throwing an interception in a November win over South Carolina, and hardly played again until splitting time with starter Casey Dick in Arkansas' Capital One Bowl loss to Wisconsin.
The Democrat-Gazette said Mustain visited the USC campus twice in the past two months, citing a report in the Los Angeles Times.