Small Planning To Return In 2013


FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas fullback Kiero Small's senior season didn't go as planned after suffering a broken foot four days after playing in the season opener.

But Small is hoping he'll get a chance to try it all over again in 2013.

The senior is planning to apply for a medical redshirt in hopes of being granted an additional season of eligbility. He'll likely get it after playing in just one game this season before breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. Small underwent surgery to repair the broken bone and was expected to be sideline between 6 and 12 weeks.

"The University of Arkansas really helped me out a lot and just playing here has helped me see a lot of different things and experience stuff," Small said in an interview Wednesday. "To be able to come back and do it again, you now, we’ve got young guys around. It would be an honor for me to do it."

Small, whose senior season in high school was six years ago, doesn't have to return to Arkansas if granted the medical hardship waiver.

The 23-year-old is eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft and, while not likely to be picked in the seven rounds, could try his luck as a free agent.

Small said he considered both options, but doesn't want to leave Arkansas after an injury-shortened year if there's a chance to return. It's an option seniors Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright, who also are out with injuries, don't have after playing close to half the season.

"We were going both ways," Small said. "I think I’m going to apply for the medical and try to get another one. I don’t think that’s a good way to go out. I think if Alonzo and Tank could they would do so. I think just for me to come back and hold stuff down, it will help all of us go out in a good light.”

There's one other thing that would keep Small from returning to Arkansas in 2013.

A quicker-than-expected recovery.

Small said he would like to return to the field this season if his foot heals soon. That isn't expected to happen, but Small wouldn't rule it out Wednesday.

"We don’t really know," Small said. "We’re going to go for the redshirt. But if I wake up and some way I can go, I’m going.”

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau