Very rarely in Arkansas football history has a young man become such a fan favorite before even playing a down.
But the Razorbacks fans love affair with five-star freshman tailback Alex Collins (5-11, 207) is a reciprocal one and one that was thriving before he ever left Florida and stepped on campus for his official visit.
Arkansas had its annual Fan Day on Sunday, which allowed many of "Buddah's" new supporters getting to meet him up close and personal.
"I love our fan base," Collins said. "I love our Hog Call. I just love everything about the fans. They are so die-hard and I get it because I am a fan myself. I am a fan of the Razorbacks even though I play the game and I love to see other people who care the same way that I do.
"That's why you are going to see me when our other teams are playing," Collins added. "I've going to be right there with the fans yelling as loud as I can and supporting the Razorbacks as much as I can.
"The one thing I am for sure about is no matter what the situation is going to be this season, they have got our back and their support is 100 percent," Collins continued. "They are truly all in and that just overwhelmed me."
New Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and his staff were recruiting Collins before they left Wisconsin and kept it up on his arrival in Fayetteville.
Collins, currently riding second-team behind sophomore Jonathan Williams, chose Arkansas over Miami, Florida, Florida State and Wisconsin – all places he took official visits.
"Basically when I went on my five official visits, it wasn't about football," Collins said. "It was about where could I see myself for four or five years.
"When I came in, I just fell in love with the fan base, their support and when you add the football with it, it was just a win-win situation for me," Collins added. "The coaches care about you, the fans care about you. And it is truly more than just because you are a football player. That's not the case everywhere."
Numerous Arkansas fans interacted with Collins on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
"It is humbling to see how much time and effort the fan base put in to telling me how much they wanted me to be here and play for them," Collins said. "One of the things that was different was they said they would be rooting for me wherever I went, but please come play for us."
Collins was set to ink his letter-of-intent during the early afternoon of national signing date, but his mom absconded with the piece of paper.
Things got worked out and Collins actually signed later that day before having a public ceremony with his dad the following day.
"My mom cares about me a lot and was just making sure I had put plenty of consideration in leaving home and coming to Arkansas," Collins said. "But I was always going to be a Razorback. That was never going to change and I am so glad I am here today."
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