By Tyler Waldrep
CLAY — Another SEC school, LSU, has joined the recruiting race for Clay-Chalkville receiver Nico Collins.
“[I am] excited about that one,” Collins said. “I see them all the time playing on ESPN, on Saturday, winning.”
The Tigers might have some catching up to do. Seven other SEC schools (including both Alabama and Auburn) and ACC powers Louisville and Clemson have already offered a scholarship to the young receiver.
Collins said having over half of the SEC schools trying to recruit him means a great deal. He seems to recognize he still has a long road of recruitment ahead of him. He said all of the attention motivates him.
“A lot of people want these offers,” Collins said. “I still have to work and get better… I got to work hard.”
All of this attention comes after the receiver’s breakout sophomore season that saw him haul in 15 scores. Collins ended his 2014 campaign with a total of 805 yards on 39 receptions for an impressive 20.6 yards per catch.
His impressive stat line has already gotten him attention from national powers, but another offseason under his belt could make a big difference this upcoming season. Not only could Collins mental understanding of the game improve, but by all accounts, Collins is also growing taller and stronger.
Collins might not control how fast or how tall he grows, but he can be responsible for his own strength. He can leverage both to his advantage going forward.
“You can always improve in your route running,” he said. “Being [more] physical and catching the ball [better is what I’m working on].”
While it’s easy to imagine the kind of impact a stronger, taller Collins could make for various SEC squads, Collins said he is simply weighing all of his options now. A pair of schools might stand out from the pack after next week.
“I’m going to Auburn [camps] on [July] 25th and probably LSU on the 23rd,” Collins said.
Collins said he enjoys playing in Clay’s up-tempo offense. That suggests Auburn could make the most progress next week, but Collins also mentioned he respects LSU’s ability to develop talent after seeing receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. thrive in the NFL.
Only one school can win the race for Collins, but it’s starting to look like the entire SEC will be waiting for his decision at the finish line.