If confidence were built on scholarship offers, Jalen Collins might have felt out of place when defensive backs coach Ron Cooper
worked with the top cornerbacks during an afternoon session at the LSU Elite Camp
One of the most touted names on hand was David Jenkins, a Jena,
La. native who recently moved to Hebron, Texas. In hopes of landing multiple
defensive backs in the 2011 class, the Tigers – knowing that Jenkins was
sitting on scholarships from the likes of Texas - pressed with the red-carpet
Ronald Martin, a White Castle, La. native who became the
camp’s lone pledge, was also in the group. So was four-star Charles Jackson,
ranked as the nation’s No. 16 cornerback by Scout.com. Even East St. John’s
Floyd Raven was on hand, though much of the cornerback prospect’s time was
spent on the sidelines as he nursed a hamstring injury.
Still, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Collins – who had received
virtually no serious attention from college coaches up to that point – was able
to stand out from the pack.
“I just gave it my all, and after the two days that I camped
the coaches were impressed enough to offer,” said Collins of his LSU stay.
“Coach (Les) Miles brought me into his office and said that they wanted to have
me. They really loved my size, especially since I could move so well. They said they didn't see anything that would hold them back, so that was a great moment for me. That first big break was what I was looking
Collins recently transferred from DeSoto High to Olive
Branch (Miss), where this fall the rising senior prospect will play his first
season of football with the Conquistadors.
During the National 7-on-7 in Hoover, Ala. this past weekend
Collins stood out as one of the camp’s top defensive prospects. During one of
Olive Branch’s marquee matchups Collins got the best of Hoover High standout
Jaylon Denson, who recently jumped on board with Auburn.
As the Magnolia State standout’s process heats up, it
becomes more evident that the Tiger staff could have landed a diamond in the
rough when they found Collins. And if things continue as planned, a decision that
brings the Mississippi native into the Bayou State could come soon.
“I am thinking that I could go ahead and commit before too
long,” Collins said. “Coach Cooper and coach Miles both really liked me, and
LSU is a tough scholarship to turn down. Right now they are way out front for
Mississippi's Jalen Collins found the big break he needed when he turned out one of the LSU Elite Camp's best performances. After a strong weekend at the National 7-on-7 in Hoover, Ala., the Olive Branch senior prospect called his summer work complete.
The Tiger coaching staff offered Jalen Collins after his performance at the July camp