Big XII Defensive End to Transfer

BYU, Northern Illinois, Georgia Southern and Iowa State are all schools of interest for a talented JC defensive end. This weekend, the second team Iowa All-State and All-Conference selection will be tripping to Brigham Young University.

At 6-foot-3, and 247 pounds, Collins Eboh, a well-spoken junior college prospect out of North Iowa Area Community College, has the size, speed and experience to help solidify a glaring weakness on BYU's D-line left by graduating seniors.

"I'm 6-3, and 247 pounds," Eboh said. "My forty time—I would say my fastest time was a 4.84. I'm looking at BYU, UNI [Northern Illinois] and maybe looking to go back to Iowa State or maybe to Georgia Southern.

"I went to Iowa State my first year of college. I played as a true freshman for Iowa. I was listed as a backup and played more as an emergency player. As the year went on and during spring ball, I definitely started fighting for the starting spot."

As a freshman, Eboh was used primarily as a pass rushing defensive end in situational periods that required a speed on the outside. His success on the field while at Iowa State helped him move up on the depth chart as the season progressed. However, along with the progression of the season, Eboh found that life and the expectations at the college level was much more difficult than expected.

"Throughout the year it was hard playing in the Big XII, trying to play as a true freshman, going against the one's every day, doing the film, the lifting and things like that, along with all of that being a college student too," said Eboh. "My first semester, actually my first year, I didn't take care of business when I needed to. It's actually why I'm playing out here at North Iowa CC right now. This is my first year at North Iowa, and I'll be able to transfer out of North Iowa, and I'm actually looking to go D-1 right now."

Eboh's current goal is to get back on the football field at the division one level, and is currently looking at possibly returning to Iowa State.

"I might go back [to Iowa State]," Eboh said. "I'm still deciding but I'm actually thinking about going back to Iowa State. I just have these other schools on my plate now and that just factors into everything. Still overall just getting back to D-1 football and to prove to myself both on the field and in the classroom is really what I want to do in my near future."

Other universities that have popped up on his plate are UIN and Georgia State along with BYU. Eboh has already tripped to UIN and thought the camaraderie he experience among the players there was very noticeable. Although BYU has not offered the former Big XII defensive end yet, Eboh will be tripping out to Provo, Utah this weekend where he has already heard many positive things about the Cougar campus.

"I would say why I pretty much would want to go there is because it's a great school academically and what not," Eboh said. "They've been in a national championship. It may have been a few years since then but they still have that on their resume. What I've been hearing from my coach and looking at their stats is that they place a lot of D-linemen into the NFL on a constant basis. My understanding is they have a good relationship with the NFL. It's just a good solid program at a great looking place. Provo, Utah is a great place and I'm actually visiting this weekend. A good reason to go there would be because it's a good program with a great atmosphere and a great school too.

"The minus or the down side of going out to BYU is that it is far away. I mean it's out there in Utah."

Eboh's defensive line coach, Jerry Montgomery, helped inform him of the upsides of Brigham Young University and about assistant Coach Steve Kaufusi.

"Coach Kaufusi is recruiting me," Eboh said. "I haven't met the guy but I've talked to him on the phone a couple of times. He seems really intense and is very focused on what he does. My D-line coach up here talks highly of him and has met him a few times. Coach Kaufusi actually recruited [Coach Montgomery] when he was coming out of high school as a player."

Kaufusi and Montgomery remained friends over the years. The relationship between the two coaches has helped Eboh to trust Kaufusi and the BYU staff.

"The relationship is actually important to me," said Eboh. "Coach Montgomery is just a solid guy and he has the best interest for everyone out here. If he can put you into a solid program that is best for you he'll put you there. He'll make sure that what ever school you're going to it's for a good reason, and that you can actually have success by being there. It's good because I can trust this man with his judgment because he knows it stuff."

Both Kaufusi and Mendenhall have been in contact with Eboh and have explained to him the current D-line situation at Brigham Young University. Eboh likes the straight forward approach taken by both Mendenhall and Kaufusi.

"Coach Kaufusi and the head coach have talked to me [about BYU's situation on the defensive line]," Eboh said. "Coach Montgomery has also talked to me about that as well. I can look at the depth charts and all that and every team is going to have that guy who is better and taller than I am, but still I have confidence in my own skills and know how hard I'm going to work on the field. I have no doubt that I'm going to play when I transfer, and whether or not that will be starting or rotating it's still up in the air but its going to happen. I guess if the depth chart is a factor in my choice of schools I guess I should say I haven't really thought about it that much because I know for a fact I'm going to be playing next year."

One thing that is very important to Eboh is the academic support system a university has in place while athletes are involved with football training.

"I definitely like the academic support," Eboh said. "Basically, the support system and the academic advisors and what the players say about that, and being able to trust in that in regards to helping you with academics.

"Definitely the overall program as well. If they have the facilities, the coaching staff, the training, the academic support and basically everything in place to get the whole job done is very important. To have the athletic trainers in place to help you compete while you're able to focus on school is definitely a plus."

Eboh has thoughts of possibly playing after college in the NFL, but that is not his most important goal right now. After leaving Iowa State for North Iowa, getting back onto a D-1 level and focusing more on attaining a college degree is most important to him.

"Coming out of high school people had asked me if I wanted to go into the NFL, and I just told them that I was just a high school kid and I hadn't even played single down in the Big XII yet," said Eboh. "The NFL is far away with my skills and how I am at this point in time, but playing a year in the Big XII I felt that I could be successful there. With how I was progressing, my speed, quickness and just how my knowledge of the game grew everyday and what not, but right now I'm not an All-Big XII defensive end and that was my goal. I just want to have that balance of being successful on the field and in the classroom.

"I know that football won't last forever. The whole point of me going to college isn't just football but to have something after football and that's an education. Football is just something I can be proud of right now, but I'm a college student and this is my goal to have these two things. That's just pretty much my whole take on it. Going into the NFL you're going against the odds, but going to college, you can get a degree much easier."

Eboh is considering two fields of study at the moment.

"Right now I'm going into environmental science," Eboh said. "That's what I started out with at Iowa State and that's what I've been somewhat studying here at North Iowa. I'm definitely thinking of something in the health field but right now its environmental science and that might change when I transfer. I've been thinking of getting into health after I'm done with my schooling."

Eboh stated that his college decision may come as early as next week.


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