During today’s game, Marquel Wade seemed to have laid one of the dirtiest hits seen all season. However, was it intentional? National Media is starting to call Arkansas a dirty program. Jesse Palmer, ESPN announcer for the game, said the fair catch was “impossible to miss”.
Yahoo also decided to create a whole article over Marquel Wade, himself, which has since been taken down and is missing from Yahoo’s article archives. The image of Marquel Wade used in the article was not from the Vanderbilt game.
If you watch the replay closely, you can see that the Vanderbilt returner NEVER calls for a Fair Catch (waves hands over head at least once in each direction). However, he does shield his eyes from the impeding sunlight. Once he unshielded his hands from the sun, he moves forward into oncoming traffic. Marquel Wade saw something different.
“I really want to just apologize for any embarrassment I did for the fans, also the organization,” Wade said. “Any situation I get into, whatever they say, I’ve got to take what I did and just go with it. Just go to the future.
“What I did was wrong, but I thought he had the ball. So I’ll just leave it at that. I was just going out there, doing 100 percent, trying to play my game. And I messed up.”
If you notice, #25 Terrell Williams went for the tackle as well. In Vanderbilt’s post-game press conference, James Franklin admits that Wade’s hit was not dirty, but merely stupid.
“Let’s not make this more than it is,” Franklin said. “Their guy made a play. Those things happen. The officials handled it the right way and we move forward. By no means do I think Arkansas targeted him and tried to do anything. Their guy made a bad decision and we move forward.”