The word from Fayetteville following the end of the Razorbacks first practice of the fall season is Mekale McKay, wide receiver, has expressed his desire to leave the team. He was not with the team today and has told head football coach Bret Bielema he is interested in exploring his options to play in a style of offense that was in place before Bielema’s arrival. McKay has not been granted a formal release as of this writing.
McKay, a 6-6 wide receiver had more then 300 yards last season with two touchdowns and 10 starts. His full bio as a Razorback is below.
On Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, the Associated Press reported Bielema granted McKay’s scholarship release, paving the way for the player’s transfer.
Let the Mekale McKay speculation begin:
McKay wants transfer from #Arkansas to "offense similar to what was in place before Bielema" McKay was #2 prospect in Kentucky. WKU/Petrino?— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 5, 2013
Here are other notes from the Bielema press conference and big news for Razorback defensive end Chris Smith is here:
“Obviously there’s a lot of things that we’ve got to work out, but I think on average across the country, teams will probably get somewhere between 25-30 practices in before that first game,” Bielema said. “We’ve got about 28-29 scheduled. I thought we won today. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Bielema was asked about the freshmen.
“We can’t be around them during the summer, but it was very evident that our kids had been coached very, very well by our players just on certain teaching points,” Bielema said. “They were repeating things, some verbiage, that we haven’t even said to them, yet. It shows to me that you’ve got older players helping. I really challenged our seniors. I said, ‘Hey, I know this room wants to be great. I know the group of players returning wants to be great. But there’s probably going to be three, four, five, maybe six kids out of that freshman class or the junior college transfers that can help us win a game. Don’t you want to see how good they can be?’ I challenged them before the summer. You can tell that they bought into it.”
Bielema also discussed the confidence shown by the team during the day’s practice.
“We got them in some new practice jerseys, some new practice shorts,” Bielema said. ”There were a couple visitors at practice that were there in the spring, and they just kind of made a comment about how different the kids look. They feel it. Maybe not all of us in the room remember our younger days when maybe we felt better about how we looked or carried ourselves. The kids just had a confidence to them that’s off the charts, the swagger. Obviously it’s got to carry over to the game field, but I couldn’t be happier with the way that they look overall.”
Here is a video of pre-camp from the University of Arkansas:
2012: McKay played in all 12 games and made 10 starts, collecting 21 catches for 317 yards and two touchdowns. His receiving yards were second on the team, and he tied for fourth on the team in catches and touchdown receptions. He tied for third among freshmen in the SEC with eight catches of 15 or more yards, and tied for fourth among the conference’s freshmen with three receptions of at least 25 yards. His touchdowns total ranked fourth among freshmen in the SEC, and his receiving yards were fifth among freshmen in the conference. He caught one eight-yard pass in his collegiate debut, a 49-24 win vs. Jacksonville State. He caught two passes for a season-high 74 yards, including a season-long 61 yarder, and one touchdown vs. ULM. He made one catch for seven yards vs. No. 1 Alabama and one 32-yard catch the next week vs. Rutgers. He caught two passes for 14 yards at Texas A&M. He made three receptions for 36 yards in the 24-7 win at Auburn and caught three passes for 22 yards in the next week’s 49-7 victory vs. Kentucky. He hauled in three receptions for 49 yards at No. 12 South Carolina and three passes for 30 yards at Mississippi State. He caught two passes for 45 yards and one touchdown in the season finale vs. No. 8 LSU.
HIGH SCHOOL: McKay was a two-sport standout at Moore High School, excelling on the gridiron and for the basketball team. He was ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in Kentucky and as the No. 48 wide receiver in the country by 247Sports.com, and ESPN tabbed him as the second-team all-state forward in basketball prior to his senior season. As a senior, he was a first-team all-district selection and earned honorable-mention all-state accolades after catching 38 passes for 894 yards and 13 touchdowns. In his junior season, he was named first-team all-district as he helped lead the Mustangs to the second round of the state playoffs by recording their first playoff win since 2001. He also was an all-region performer in his junior season. He was coached at Moore by Robert Johnson. McKay chose Arkansas over Ole Miss after also receiving interest from Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisville and Cincinnati for football and many others for basketball.
PERSONAL: Born Aug. 4, 1993, he is the grandson of Lillian Johnson.