2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 7 Landon Collins, Alabama
We’ve reached the Top 10 of our Top 100 SEC players list and will unveil the remaining players daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
7. Landon Collins, Jr., S, Alabama
One of the SEC’s most explosive players from his safety spot on Kirby Smart’s defense, Collins is primed for an All-American-caliber campaign as the leader of Alabama’s oft-criticized secondary after proving his worth as a sophomore following Vinnie Sunseri’s injury at the strong spot. Likely a first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft along with Alabama teammates Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon, coaches are looking for Collins to rub off on some of the younger guys to help strengthen the back end and contribute on coverage teams. He piled up 10 special teams tackles last season.
Collins has the potential to emerge as the next great Alabama defensive back and covers a ton of ground with 4.53 speed. Over his final two starts last season, the Louisiana native notched 18 tackles — the most over a two-game span in his career and proved to be one of Nick Saban’s most physical players. In short-yardage situations, Collins brings it.
2013 statistics: 70 tackles, 2 FF, 2 INT
2014 projection: 84 tackles, 3 FF, 3 INT