One of the top prospects in the state of Michigan for the class of 2018 will be Elijah Collins of U-D Jesuit High School. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound blue-chip recruit picked up a scholarship from Michigan State last weekend. I spoke with Collins to extract the details about his recruitment and time in East Lansing.
Collins had a strong junior season. His play helped lead the team to the playoffs, where they dropped a tough game to Oak Park, 26-17. Collins accounted for over 1,000 yards on the season and found the end zone nearly 20 times. The Spartans have been keeping close tabs on him throughout the fall and were excited to have him on campus.
“The visit (to East Lansing) was great,” Collins said. “I had a chance to make my relationships with the coaches stronger. Michigan State is a great program and in the next year or so will for sure surprise a lot of people. I like what Coach Dantonio has done at Michigan State.”
Collins is listed as a running back in the Rivals.com database, but he stars at multiple positions. It would not be a surprise if he is one of those players that gets a serious look on both sides of the ball at the next level. He also has the ability to be a playmaker on special teams.
Michigan State needs to replenish the backfield and a player with Collins’ running and receiving skills would have a chance to make an early impact. The Spartans will graduate Gerald Holmes after the 2017 season and it is also possible that junior LJ Scott will leave early for the NFL. If that happens, MSU will be precariously thin at running back.
I asked Collins about his scholarship offer and what type of feedback he has gotten from the Spartans’ staff.
“They like my style of running, very explosive and powerful,” he said. “They like that I am able to make plays out of the backfield. As a person, they like how I bring energy to the team and that I am able to step up and lead. I was offered a full scholarship three days ago. Being my second Big Ten offer, they stand pretty high.”
In addition to Michigan State, Collins has scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Syracuse, Toledo, Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. Teams such as Wisconsin, Kentucky and a host of other Power-five programs are in contact. The Badgers signed Collins’ teammate Scott Nelson on Wednesday and they will be working hard to have Collins to visit Madison.
Collins hopes to take some additional college visits in the coming weeks if he can fit it into his schedule. In addition to football, he is also an excellent basketball player for U-D Jesuit. The Cubs are one of the top basketball programs in the state and they are hoping to repeat as state champs.
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