Harrisonville (Mo.) standouts Michael Keck and Steven Collins know all about what five turnovers can do to a football team – be it on a Friday or a Saturday.
Linebacker Keck (6-5, 225, 4.5) and safety Collins (6-1, 185, 4.5) helped cause five in the defending Class 3 state champion Wildcats' 27-7 win over Augusta (Kan.) Friday night and then – while on an official visit to the University of Arkansas – saw the Razorbacks cough up five in a loss to No. 3 USC.
"It's such a big part of the game," Keck said. "Sometimes it's the biggest difference in wins or loses a game, especially when the two teams are pretty close in talent."
Keck, who is down to Arkansas and Missouri, caused and recovered two fumbles on Friday night – taking one of them back 70 yards for a score.
"The defense played really well," Keck said. "I didn't suspect that we would play that well the first game, but we were awesome."
Collins, like Keck being recruited by UA assistant Gus Malzahn, picked off two passes to stymie drives by Augusta.
"I had two interceptions because of the pressure up front from Michael and those guys and that causing the quarterback to make bad decisions," Collins said. "I was fortunate to grab a couple."
As was the stadium record crowd of 76,564 and the ESPN camera on hand at Reynolds Razorback Stadium for Saturday night's game between Arkansas and USC.
"The atmosphere at Arkansas is just awesome, just awesome," Keck said. "It is big-time college football. I am very impressed with everything they have here."
Keck, ranked as the number one player in Missouri and one of the nation's top 25 linebackers nationally by Scout.com, had 147 tackles with 12 sacks as a junior.
He had at least 12 stops Friday night while getting his senior season underway.
"Mike is hell on wheels," Collins said of his teammate. "He's just great at flying to the ball. No one can block him. It is just amazing how he runs by every lineman every time."
Having taken his official visit to Arkansas and planning on being at Missouri this weekend for one when the Tigers host Ole Miss, Keck is thinking of taking much more time to make a decision.
Colorado's season-opening loss to Division I-AA Montana State probably didn't help their cause much.
"I have been talking to Colorado a little bit, but I don't know about that," Keck said. "Basically its Arkansas and Missouri and I'll take these visits and make a decision and not waste everybody's time."
Keck has now been at Arkansas three times in the last couple of months, just to visit campus, for a scrimmage in August and now for the Arkansas-USC game and his official visit this past weekend.
"This is a great place with great people," Keck said of Arkansas. "They are fast and I think they are a good team and I think they are going to have a very good season. really love the coaches. I also like the facilities, but that is not going to make my decision. It is going to be the people and there are great people here at Arkansas."
Collins echoed those sentiments about Arkansas.
"It is a great school," Collins said. "I like the town and everything around here."
Harrisonville, who finished 12-2 in 2004 and 13-1 while winning the title last season, has perfection on its mind this season.
"Hopefully we can make it all way to the state championship," Collins said. "But we just have to let the games take care of themselves and play them one at a time and not get ahead of ourselves."
Keck and Collins
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