Recruit Profile: Harrison Collins

Recruiting season for the high school class of 2006 has hardly begun but that does not mean that young prospects do not already have an idea of who they would like to receive scholarships offers from. Such is the case for Harrison Collins, a running back from Georgia.

Bulloch Academy in the southern Georgia is home to an LDS running back hoping that a repeat of his performance as a junior will result in a BYU scholarship offer. There is word in the surrounding community that running back Harrison Collins has brought back the running game to Bulloch Academy, a school that produced notable running backs in past years.

"That's what they said," Collins stated, "the best thing to happen to Bulloch Academy in twenty something years. I had nearly 1946 rushing yards this year in under 198 carries. I was averaging around 9.8 yards a carry. I had one game for 13 carries and 343 yards and I only played for three quarters. I had three or four games where I rushed for over 200, I can't remember. I had 22 touchdowns this past year. It was alright, I had a pretty decent season. I think I started 6 games at fullback and then at the end of the season our tailback got hurt and they moved me to tailback and moved one of our linebackers to fullback and that‘s when I started killing people. I get more momentum when I get the ball standing up and I just ran all over everybody."

At nearly 5'10" and 198 pounds, Collins is working to improve his 4.59 speed

"I'm going run track. I'm going to work on my speed and run a solid 4.5. That's my goal this year. I'm squatting 500, power cleaning 260 and benching 340. I'm trying to stay strong in the weight room," Collins said.

Collins attended Bulloch Academy, a class AA school, to help ensure that his on field talents do not go to waste because of not making the grades in the classroom.

"Well right now that's why I went to Bulloch Academy because my former football coach, coach Fly, told me I could play at the college level and at Bulloch Academy you get more help because there's usually only around 8 people in a class so you get more attention," Collins said. "You get more one on one and so my ACT scores went up, my SAT scores went up and my GPA went up. Even if I don't get a football scholarship I can still go to college and that's what I want."

Collins was pleased with his team's performance in the 2004 season although he knows they could have done better. "We did great," he said. "We only lost three games and made it to the second round of the playoffs and then traveled eight hours away and got beat. Nobody's head was in the game. Well, actually, the quarterback's head wasn't in it. He fumbled, I think, 8 times and we recovered 2 of the 8 inside our 20 from the center to him on the snap. It was horrible."

From his on field performances, Collins received many local accolades and awards.

"I got WTOC player of the week of the week, Super 11," Collins recalled. "I got WSAV of the week on channel three one time. I got Savannah Morning Newspaper player of the week three times, and I also got region player of the year by Savannah Morning Newspaper and Southwest Region player of the year. I got All-State running back, First Team All-Region running back, I got the Sam Harris Heisman trophy of the year, the same one Shannon Sharpe got. My sophomore year I got honorable mention as a strong safety."

So far a few colleges have taken notice and Collins' on field performances. BYU happens to be one of those schools, and, being LDS, Collins is hoping BYU coaches will fulfill his childhood dreams of wearing the blue and white.

"The University of Central Florida sent me [a questionnaire] and I filed it out," said Collins. "BYU, I'm on their VIP list and Wofford. The head coach of Wofford said he was going to be looking at me pretty hard. Appalachian State and Auburn have some information on me. My coach told me I should be getting a lot of letters here pretty soon.

"Well you know, I'm Mormon and [BYU's] my school you know what I mean. That's my school and they are division one and I would love to go there. That's my dream to play for BYU."

Collins, like so many other LDS high school students outside of Utah and Idaho, is interested in being in an environment with a large LDS population. "I am a Mormon kid and I want to be around Mormons," he said. "I expect to marry a Mormon and get married in the temple. BYU is the college I've always wanted to go to and I've always said I want to go on a mission and I want to play football. That's my number one dream and if could do that, it would be at BYU."

To help further persuade BYU coaches with an offer, Collins will be out in Provo this summer to showcase his talents during the summer camp.

"Well I think I'm coming to their camp," said Collins. "I'm coming up there because [BYU coaches] say a lot of time all the schools in southern conferences, like Florida, Miami, Georgia and Alabama, get all the prime running backs, so [BYU] doesn't get a chance to get them because they are already taken by that time in the south, which is where some of the good running backs come from."

Being able to play football for the Cougars is only part of the reason Collins wants to come to Provo. He is also attracted to BYU because he knows that his plan to serve as an LDS missionary would be supported by the Cougar coaching staff.

"I'm hoping to go to BYU because when I say I want to go on a mission, they will hold my scholarship for me," Collins said. "That's why I want to go to BYU so bad because I want to go on my mission. I don't want to go to college and miss out on a mission. I want to go on a mission."

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