Recruiting in the 2014 class is well underway in the state of Texas, as evidenced by the commitment of Dallas Skyline cornerback Cedric Collins to the Texas A&M Aggies. The announcement was made Wednesday evening at his church, even though he had said as recently as several days ago that he was not planning on making a decision ($) in the near future.
The 5'10", 175-pound Collins has been on the recruiting scene for some time after earning playing time as a true freshman -- no easy task at his talent-rich school that is known for producing multiple high-level prospects on a yearly basis.
Rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports, Collins chose the Aggies after narrowing his choices to A&M, Baylor, and Nebraska. Overall, he held 10 offers, including invitations to play at Kansas State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Ole Miss and Texas Tech.
Back in June, it was clear that every other school was playing catch up ($) to the Aggies, as Collins did his due diligence:
A&M is still number one in my book but I'm just trying to get out and see other places before I make any decisions. But every school I visit, I compare to A&M.
Writing on the wall, indeed.
His comfort level with new head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff in College Station was the difference:
However, it is still early in the process, leading one Nebraska writer to speculate that Collins isn't completely finished with recruiting:
What should be surprising to no one, Dallas Skyline's Cedric Collins (2014) picks Texas A&M. Fully expect him to take more visits.— Mike Schaefer (@mikejschaefer) August 22, 2012
Time will tell.
Burnt Orange Nation contributor Austin Pace caught the contest between Skyline and Dallas Jesuit last fall, offering his thoughts after the game:
There were many Division I recruits in this game. There were also a couple Texas commits on the field, but Cedric Collins was the recruit I was most excited about seeing. When Rivals has a recruiting page and video of you before your sophomore season, you're a pretty elite recruit. There's been a lot of hype around Collins, and he more than lived up to it.
Collins drew the tough match-up of Jake Oliver, and was left alone against Oliver on an island for much of the game. You can see by Oliver's numbers how well he was covered by the sophomore phenom. Collins only made one dynamic play all night when he swiped away a touchdown catch from Oliver, but he took away one side of the field and eliminated Jesuit's best player. He is a shutdown corner, has all the skills and understands all the little nuances of playing cornerback. He got inside positioning on Oliver all night, and forced some bad throws due to his close coverage. He was able to stay with Oliver easily on a deep ball that was overthrown.
He had the strength to jam Oliver and the recovery speed to stay with him. He has a very strong, thick base which gives him a good jarring punch on receivers at the line of scrimmage. He can run with anybody.
Collins did miss a tackle near the goaline that set up a first and goal. It was a bad form tackle where he dove at the receiver's feet. Easily correctable, and he made up for it with a pass deflection in the endzone. I would have liked to see his balls skills on passes, but he was rarely thrown at. Collins didn't field a punt or kick off for Skyline.
Collins' listed height of 5'10" and weight of 170 pounds both looked accurate. If he can grow to 6 feet, he will likely be the top ranked corner in the country as a senior. Must get for Texas. Thank goodness Skyline is a pipeline school.
Texas never ended up recruiting Collins seriously, declining to extend an offer. While that's somewhat understandable given the depth of the defensive back class, Aggie fans won't let that reduce their warranted excitement.
Cedric Collins Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)