Published February 5, 2013 - 8:25am
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If you had any questions about Bret Bielema’s recruiting ability in the south, your questions are now answered. Arkansas landed arguably the top running back from the state of Florida in South Plantation’s Alex Collins right in Miami’s backyard.
Bielema never had a top recruiting class at Wisconsin, and his ability to recruit the south with few connections was a big question among Arkansas fans. Bielema’s record and Big Ten Championships speak for themselves, but the one lacking staple to his game is recruiting.
But Bielema has always been a developmental-minded coach. He recruits hawses on the offensive line that are road graders for physical backs in a pro-style offense, and he’s been one of the best coaches in the country at developing players.
And Bielema has his first signature commit right in the Hurricane’s backyard in Alex Collins.
What does Collins bring to Arkansas?
The 5-11, 205-pound Collins could have an impact in his first season like Todd Gurley did at Georgia. No, he probably won’t have 1,300 yards rushing, because Aaron Murray had much to do with that, but Collins can give the offense a tremendous balance and a go-to back.
Bielema’s offense is based around a downhill rushing attack, and Collins is the perfect back for his scheme. The thing is – Bielema has never had a running back with the uncapped talent that Collins possesses. He’s a 4.4 40-yard kid with elite speed. Montee Ball didn’t even have the raw tools of Collins, but he developed into a very good back.
Collins will share carries with current sophomore-to-be in Jonathan Williams, and the two should create a sexy one-two punch in the Hogs’ backfield.
Collins ran for a 3,264 career yards and 43 touchdowns at South Plantation.
“I liked that they run the ball, I personally know the coaches and have been recruited by them for two years now. So I think I can trust them. I feel they can get me to where I want to be at the next level academically and athletically.”
Bielema and his staff’s connections in South Florida helped land one of the best backs in the country. What’s the significance? Arkansas has landed only eight players from Florida in the last five years, and none of them were from South Florida.
The SEC wins in January, and it wins in February. Coincidence?
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