Evin Demirel: How Can You Blame Alex Collins?


Visit Evin's Author PageIn the wake of one of his three Liberty Bowl touchdown runs, Alex Collins trotted toward the back of the Kansas State end zone, stuck out his right arm, looked down, covered his face and quickly tilted his head. Kids these days call it a “dab” but it might as well have been a bow to the inevitable.

On Sunday, the junior running back did what so many fans had been expecting him to do for weeks: declare for the 2016 NFL Draft. He did this despite a very outspoken love of the Razorback program and a rapport with its fans which few other out-of-state stars have ever cultivated.  He decided to say “no” to a senior year which held the potential of SEC statistical immortality and to the promise of even more opportunities to photobomb David Bazzel on a live KATV broadcast.

The decision caps one of the remarkable yet unpredictable careers in program history. The shifty 21-year-old finished the 2015 season on a tear, racking up 509 yards and 8 touchdowns in the last four games alone. He parlayed the surge into pre-draft grades which apparently peg him for the second or third round, which almost always means too many millions of dollars to refuse. This time was no exception. Still, as preordained as the finish of Collins’ career turned out to be, the beginning was anything but.

As a high school star in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the teams initially at the forefront of Alex Collins’ recruiting radar were local: Miami, Florida State. But Bret Bielema, then Wisconsin’s head coach, swooped in to pitch him hard. The two immediately hit it off. “I know it’s gonna be hard to leave,” Bielema told Collins. “But I see men grow the most when it’s outside the state.” [Yeah, let’s pretend Malik Monk didn’t see that one.]

dab alex collins

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