Jeff Reed: Red Wolves Seniors Close Wild Careers in GoDaddy Bowl


Jeff Reed Author PageMOBILE, ALA. – There is a bowl game in Mobile, Alabama, excuse me, Howlabama, tonight.

Howlbama is a nickname, or hash tag in the modern word in which we communicate, the Arkansas State crowd uses for Mobile and the GoDaddy Bowl.

While the Red Wolves will be making their fourth straight appearance in the bowl game, a huge story for the once struggling program itself, there is an even bigger story here this week. A pack of 10 Red Wolves seniors who have been through it all close out their careers.

And what careers they have been.

After being redshirted as freshmen, when they walk off the field tonight they will have 35 or 36 career (a figure that ranks in the top 25) wins in their four years Arkansas State, this group of 10 will go down in history.  They will become legends.

We all know the story by now, how this group was recruited and was on the roster for one season under Steve Roberts. After that 4-8 season, Roberts was released and Arkansas State began its series of begats, but all the changes coming annually.

Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin all came to Jonesboro and won and moved on, usually back home, or a place they had coached before.

Arkansas State AD Terry Mohajir says the only school in college football, in somewhat modern times, to experience anything like that was Kansas State in the 1940s, and they won three or four games. This group won 35. In the 1990s, Arkansas State won 29 games.

Winning these days in college football is tough enough when there is continuity. But when you consider the turmoil that could have taken place at Arkansas State, it is even more impressive. And you throw in where A-State has been; it has been one big-time revival.

They have been cycle breakers. And they will take with them a legacy that will likely not be matched in their lifetimes. They have established the foundation for this program going forward.

In an interview this week with, Red Wolves tight end Kenny Rains said, “to quote my good friend Allen Wright, how boring it would have been to play for just one coach.”

Mohajir said the school does not hear much from others about the uncommon success story.

“Everyone is wrapped up in their own situation,’’ he said. But usually if they face the Red Wolves, they usually take notice.

Toledo’s AD Michael O’Brien this week praised the A-State players and the administration for keeping things upright.

It was a team effort. And for the past five years, these Red Wolves Kenny Rains, Allen Wright, Frankie Jackson, Sterling Young, Que Lee, Brock Barnhill, Tyler Greve, William Boyd, Andrew Tryon and Ryan Jacobs, have been all about team.

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Jeff Reed is editor of

Arkansas State seniors wrap career in GoDaddy Bowl


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