Yes, Iowa found Marcus Collins late. Very late. Like the last day of recruiting.
But going off his YouTube highlight video and given his wrestling pedigree, this is the kind of football barbarian who makes you a tougher team.
Collins is an accomplished hurdler who just jumped back into wrestling and 215 pounds and helped Monsignor Bonner to a second-place finish in the Catholic League with a pair of pins.
Yes, Collins was a very late scholarship offer. He jumped at the Iowa offer without having visited the campus because that was his best offer (Army was his other option).
A linebacker/wrestler/hurdler, the raw material is there for something.
Links — Collins was a first-team Delco Times defensive pick. The description says banner carrier and you can’t have too many of those.
Three most interesting bio items — 1) Defensive player of the year in the Philadelphia Catholic League as a senior. 2) 15 sacks as a senior. 3) Four letters in track and three in wrestling.
Ferentz on — Kirk Ferentz was asked about the three linebackers Iowa signed, where they might end up.
“We’ll wait and see,” Ferentz said. We’ll get them on campus and last year is about as high a number of first-year players that we have had that have played and we will probably continue on in that vein. It has continued to work well for us so realistically, maybe one or two will play but the rest will redshirt. But, feel real good about those guys, building a good nucleus there. Been hit pretty hard the last two years at that position and certainly our injuries last year, between that and the running back position, really affected our team and affected our special teams as well.”
Take note of the special teams mention.
Iowa recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson talked about how Iowa found Collins.
“You take a Marcus Collins, for example,” Johnson said. “He was a guy who coach Ferentz had a close friend who told us about him three months ago. From a linebacker and numbers standpoint, we were fairly full. Even with someone switching [LB Mike Orloff decommitted early this week for UCLA], we were still pretty comfortable with the number of linebackers we had.
“When it came down to it yesterday [Tuesday], he was a player who’d been on our radar for three months, a guy we felt very comfortable with, an excellent player on tape, a very good wrestler, one of the top hurdlers in his area. All the intangibles from an off-the-field standpoint, grades, everything. When we had a spot open, he was the guy we wanted to give a scholarship to.
He’s going to be a linebacker.”
I asked Johnson if he reminded him of Ed Miles, the former Iowa linebacker who was about 6-foot-ish and played in the NFL for a few years.
“Very similar. Very similar.”
Projection is fun – Just going off the highlight, Collins has a nose for contact and likes to mix it up, so, logically, inside linebacker seems like the spot.
With that said, the hurdles pedigree says there’s some speed there and could open the door to seeing some time at OLB. I don’t see that, but that is where Ed Miles kind of broke into the lineup before switching back to his more natural position inside.
I think inside linebacker.