FAYETTEVILLE — Cornerback Chris Murphy graduated from high school early, enrolled at Arkansas and participated in spring practices last month.
But the freshman’s time as a Razorback could be over after one semester.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Tuesday through a spokesperson he isn’t certain if Murphy will return to campus after multiple reports indicated the Georgia native intends to transfer. Murphy was one of four newcomers who enrolled at Arkansas a semester early to get a head start for the 2014 season, but is behind a handful of veteran cornerbacks on the depth chart entering the summer.
“We are talking to him,” Bielema said through a spokesperson Tuesday. “It’s not all that uncommon to have kids think about these things. He’s deciding if Arkansas is the right fit for him. Every kid needs to be happy. We’ll work through the situation and hopefully come up with what’s best for all of us.”
Murphy spent much of the spring with the third-team defense, working in a group of cornerbacks that includes Tevin Mitchel, Jared Collins, Carroll Washington, Will Hines and D.J. Dean. The position was one of Arkansas’ weaknesses in 2013, but Bielema called the cornerbacks Arkansas’ most improved position in the spring.
Murphy signed with Arkansas after also considering Missouri, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Arizona and Washington State during the recruiting process.
New Opponent, Same Spot
Arkansas will wrap up the 2014 season by playing an opponent other than LSU for the first time since joining the Southeastern Conference.
That’s the only thing that will change with the season finale.
The Arkansas-Missouri game, originally scheduled for Nov. 29, has been moved up one day by CBS to the Friday after Thanksgiving. The first meeting between the Razorbacks and Tigers as SEC opponents will kick off at 1:30 p.m.
It’s a familiar spot for Arkansas, which has been accustomed to playing LSU the Friday after Thanksgiving. LSU and Texas A&M will begin a season-ending series next season, while the Razorbacks will open an annual series with Missouri.
Arkansas has played the Friday after Thanksgiving 16 times in the past 18 years.