Sometimes, two parties simply decide to wish each other the best and go their separate ways. No harm no foul.
In the aftermath of Mike Woods’ announcement on Friday that he will transfer to Oklahoma, the former Arkansas star received a round of well wishes from Arkansas football teammates and other recent Razorbacks.
Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson, for instance, Tweeted out: “I’ll meet u at the top brudda” and threw in the
The redshirt sophomore would no doubt have better passing statistics in 2021 with a seasoned deep route runner like Woods to complement Razorback receivers like Treylon Burks, De’Vion Warren, Trey Knox and Ketron Jackson.
But Jefferson also understands that Woods, in his last college season, wants to maximize his chances at a deep postseason run and benefit from coaching that helped develop Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb into first-round picks in the NFL Draft.
The fact Oklahoma has a proven track record in developing this kind of talent doesn’t exclude Arkansas, which should produce a first-round pick in 2022 with Burks, from joining the club over the next few years.
Woods, who has already reminded Sooner fans a few times to follow his YouTube channel, is also looking to expand his personal brand. The Wheaties box reference below is a clear reminder of that:
“I wish you the best. Thanks for welcoming my son & getting work in w him on those “off hours” when he arrived on campus & especially for making my JJ your biggest fan!”
“We’ll still root for you Mike! Now like I tell @LucasColeyy drown out the noise & go BE GREAT!”
When it comes to wishing Mike Woods the best, a lot of Razorback fans agree with Deborah Coley’s sentiments here.
As much as they hate to see Woods leave, they can understand his reasoning (even if they are baffled by his timing in leaving), and they appreciate he didn’t go to another SEC team or a hated rival like Texas.
What many fans can’t understand, however, is a former Razorback great publicly praising Woods’ decision to leave the Hogs as “a smart move.”
Mason Jones Gets Flak for How He Supports Mike Woods
Jones isn’t in the wrong to believe Woods made a smart move in joining the Sooners.
As long as Woods is able to carve out playing time competing against a trio of five-star Sooner receivers from the class of 2019 who have underwhelmed in their careers so far, he should thrive in Norman just as he would have in Fayetteville — with the extra potential benefits of making a College Football Playoffs and getting thousands of more YouTube subscribers.
But Jones could have chosen to privately message Woods this instead of announcing to the world that deciding leaving Arkansas is “on the mark” through the bullseye emoji.
That just comes across as tone deaf to a fanbase that has loved him and supported him every step of the way over the last few years.
Jones should know how that the public could perceive such a Tweet as throwing shade at Arkansas and praising Oklahoma, even when Jones probably was only thinking about the latter.
And Arkansas fans gave Jones a piece of their mind:
“Sh*t on the fans that supported you,” @HOWBOUTTHEMHOGs blunted stated. “Great take…”
Meanwhile, @Jddexter23 responded: “No man, just no. Where has your loyalty to our program and the fanbase gone?”
And @filesdaddy cut in: “Wow, if anyone needs a knife I have a couple in my back you can have. Wtf.”
“Love ya Mase and love Mike too just don’t understand how playing in the big 12 is better than being the #2 on an SEC west team that wants to throw the ball and go fast,” Big_Gun72 Tweeted.
“OU may end up with a better record but less TV and they will do what they always do and win nothing.”
Finally, @HeadHogFan1 asked the question so many fans are wondering:
“Smart move? Please elaborate, Mr. Jones. Business is business? Meaning he got paid more to go to OU?”
Woods, in his defense, Retweeted this: “Y’all Razorback ‘fans’ are funny.”
“Ain’t nobody got paid, nobody was tampering, there was no foul play. When you a good player, schools want you and that’s just that.”
Cruel Fan Harasses Mike Woods with ACL Tear Fantasy
There is simply no way for these transfers of star/borderline star players to go down without leaving a lot of hurt feelings in their wake.
Razorback fans like Icy Nuk speak for thousands of others when they say: “It sucks to lose you. But its kinda hard to turn down playing in a top offense with the heisman favorite as your qb. Also you’ll get hella NFL scouts watching that offense. Don’t like the decision but I understand you did it for your future.”
And Colton Little is on point here, too: “You broke my heart Mike, but I’ll still wish you the best in Norman! Quick reminder…a lion doesn’t concern themselves with the opinion of a lamb.
“Knock em’ dead Mike!”
Unfortunately, some apparently deranged fans cross the line when they hear news like this.
Here’s a disturbing message Mike Woods received on Reddit:
It makes me sick to see some fans boiling over with such troglodytic hatred.
As to why Woods shared it with the public, I think it helps provide a glimpse into the kind of pressure they deal with. It’s easy just to tell Mike to “brush this off” and go on with life, but this sort of stuff gets under your skin. It can gnaw at your subconscious even if you try to choose not to think about it.
By publicizing it, I think Woods is able to find support and draw on the strength of the masses. Just like public figures like Woods open themselves to heavy criticism when they choose to go into a world like big-time college football, they can also choose to draw on the masses for the support they need to deal with big-time pressures.