Top Running Back Alex Collins Jilts Hometown Miami, Commits to Arkansas

Image Courtesy-Eye of the Hurricane

Alex Collins (Plantation, Fl., South Plantation) ranked as the top running back according to some scouting services and the 5-11 200-pound speedster announced he will attend Arkansas over Miami on Monday night.

Collins is a huge signing for new Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema. He would have been a big pickup wherever he signed on to play college football, but Bielema has made the running back a focal point in his offense dating back to his time at Wisconsin where he was able to turn Montee Ball into one of the most prolific runners in the history of college football.

The Razorbacks hosted Collins the last weekend in January one week after he visited the Hurricanes. During the early recruiting process for Collins it was assumed that he would end up at Florida State, but as we’ve seen with other recruits the coaching turnover in Tallahassee left Collins soured on the prospect of playing for the Seminoles.

Wisconsin was the first to get a visit from Collins when Bielema and head recruiter for Collins, defensive line coach Charlie Partridge were still in Madison, and now it appears that the relationship between the them was the overriding factor that has landed Collins in Fayetteville, Ar and takes him out of his native state.

It isn’t often that Florida kids leave the Sunshine State, let alone for Arkansas, but the relationships that players and coached develop during the recruitment period are more important than the team’s win-loss record in many instances.

Look for Collins to be the feature back the moment he steps foot on the practice field and lead the Razorbacks as they embark into the Bielema era and try to erase the memory of a difficult 2012 season. This can count as an unofficial victory for Bielema and his staff, because this is a huge recruiting coup for the Razorbacks to get Collins.

With Collins in the backfield, that will be that much easier for the Hogs in 2013.

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Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.