The Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day earlier in the year marked not only the end of the 2007 Hog football season but also the end of the unforgettable McFadden/Jones/Monk/Hillis era. And even though all four star athletes cleaned out their lockers to head to the NFL, it turns out we haven’t seen the last of Marcus Monk in a Razorback jersey.
Besides holding the record for the most career touchdowns ever by a wide receiver at the University of Arkansas, Marcus Monk is also a pretty good with a basketball. He was named state basketball player of the year in high school and he even played 10 games as a freshmen for the Hogs before leaving the team to focus strictly on football.
Monk entered the NFL draft earlier this summer along with several Razorback teammates and ended up with a four-year rookie deal as a Chicago Bear. Three months later, Monk was waived by the Bears but was quickly picked up by the New York Giants in late August. Of course, nothing is certain in the NFL and for whatever reason, the Giants also decided to go without Monk.
After returning to the state and re-enrolling at the University of Arkansas in order to pursue a Master’s degree, Monk, who is technically still eligible to play as a Razorback for the remainder of this season, officially suited up and practiced for the first time yesterday in Bud Walton Arena.
“I was thinking about coming back to school and taking a year off from football and getting my knee better and lifting and everything,” Monk told The Morning News’ Ryan Malashock in reference to the injury he sustained before his final season which required two surgeries and kept him on the sidelines for most of the year.
Monk, who’s been seen playing pickup games around town and at the HPER building on campus for the last several years is expected to contribute quite a bit to this year’s basketball squad. In fact, former Razorback coach Nolan Richardson still stands behind his claim that Marcus has always been better at basketball than football. “He always says that when he sees me,” Monk said. “Nolan was recruiting me really tough when he was here.”
Exactly when Razorback fans can expect to see Monk on the court during a game is still unknown. “It’s going to take all of us some time to get comfortable, to get a confidence level in what he can or can’t do,” said coach John Pelphrey.
Of course, with this week’s departure of junior forward Montrell McDonald, it might be sooner than any of us originally expected.[Via Scout.com]