Arkansas Razorbacks freshman running back Alex Collins has started off the season on a tear. After being held to just 63 yards against Rutgers, he returned to form against Texas A&M, amassing 116 yards on 14 carries.
It was his fourth 100-yard game in his first four games. He made history in game three against Southern Miss, becoming the first back in SEC history to run for over 100 yards in his first three games. Collins averaged 8.3 yards per carry Saturday against the Aggies, and continued to show us why he is one of the premiere freshman in the country.
Before his career is over, he will be the first All-American running back to come through Fayetteville since Darren McFadden. His abilities point towards a storied career.
What makes most great backs so good is there ball-carrying vision, and Collins possesses elite vision when carrying the ball. He is patient to let his blockers open holes for him, which is why he has averaged nearly six yards a pop this year. It’s something that is hard to teach. Some guys have it and some don’t, but Collins isn’t one of the guys that don’t.
He also has a great burst once he finds the hole. There’s no tip-toeing around when Collins carries the ball or dances around; he’s a north-south runner. Once he locates the hole, he hits it with authority and his speed gets him to the next level quickly. Defenders barely have time to react before he’s already 10 yards downfield.
Also important is his ability to shake tacklers and absorb the first hit. He rarely goes down on first contact, and rarely does the first defender in his path get a good, square hit on him. He is shifty and keeps his legs churning, making it difficult for defenders to get him down.
Any way you look at it, what he has done through his first five games has been nothing short of spectacular. He is on pace to well surpass 1,000 yards and be named to the Freshmen All-American team. That pales in comparison to what his career has in store for him. If Collins fulfills his potential, he could be considered one of the greatest backs in Razorback history.