The Arkansas Razorbacks today announced the latest member of their 2014 football recruiting class with quarterback Orville Wells from Possum Grape, Arkansas.
Wells, at 76, becomes the oldest player ever signed to a major college football team. Wells led Possum Grape to back to back 1-A state championships in 1954 and 55.
“We felt the need to add championship experience to this year’s recruiting class,” Razorback head coach Bret Bielema tells us. “We are starting to run short on opportunities to do this. Thankfully we found an absolute underrated gem in Wells, to think he was only a 1 star recruit.”
Wells is listed as 5’3″, 115lbs. His official scouting report shows a 8.34 40-meter dash and a 45lbs bench press.
“True, he is a little under developed. He was originally 6’2″ before osteoporosis which has to count for something,” Bielema says. “Given the talent we showed at quarterback this past year though I think he has a strong chance to compete for a starting role next year.”
Wells was originally recruited by then Arkansas coach Jack Mitchell. Wells instead decided to skip college and start a successful liquor store business in Possum Grape. Wells has a full 4 years of eligibility and, assuming he does not turn pro after his junior year, will turn 80 on December 2nd 2017. The date is coincidentally the date for the 2017 SEC championship game.
“I would love nothing more than to play 4 years and lead Arkansas to a championship when I turn 80,” Wells tells us in his announcement. “I never gave much thought to a college career until I watched the Hogs win the 1964 national championship. I dreamed every day since then about playing QB here. I can not believe I am finally going to get my chance.”
The Arkansas athletic department said later that they planned to install extra wheel chair ramps in the new football center. The center had a number of ramps installed for coach Bielema who will complete the 2014 Fayetteville walkthroughs on a power scooter after experiencing falls the past season.