2014 Target: Cayson Collins

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- North Carolina is one of the schools that Cayson Collins, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker from Berry Academy, is currently favoring.

Scouting Report

"He's just a well rounded kid," Berry Academy head coach Andrew Howard said. "He's a good hard worker [that] always wants to get better at what he's doing. He's always asking questions just to find out different things he can do to get better.

"He's such a versatile kid. He's long, he's rangy, and has real long arms."

Prep Career

Collins was promoted to varsity during his sophomore season where he played alongside two senior linebackers including Nick Dawson, who currently is a freshman at Louisville.

It wasn't until his junior year that Collins truly came into his own. He tallied 110 tackles (74 solo), an interception, three forced fumbles, and returned a recovered fumble for a touchdown.

"It depends on the game plan, but we will use him at all three linebacker spots," Howard said. "He's such a versatile kid that if we have a team that we know likes to go into the flat area, we try to put him on the side where they tend to throw a lot to – that way he can cover guys. If we need a run stopper, we'll put him in the middle."

Collins is also used situationally on offense. He's the second tight end in two-tight end sets and a fullback in a power formation.

"We'll put him at one of our lead backs to go in there and blow something up to create a running lane for us," Howard said.


NC State is the only school to offer Collins, but he's receiving significant interest from Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, and North Carolina. Most schools, according to Collins, are recruiting him as an outside linebacker, which is his preferred position.

"I like to be able to cover sideline-to-sideline and the pass," Collins said.

Collins attended UNC's season finale against Maryland.

"I definitely enjoyed it, because I got to stand on the sideline while they came out of the tunnel," Collins said. "It was definitely exciting."

Last Saturday, Collins returned to Chapel Hill for UNC's first Junior Day of the recruiting cycle.

"I definitely got to see the academic aspect, which is something that I'm really big on," Collins said. "I know that football has to stop eventually, so it's good to have something to fall back on. So I really enjoyed learning about their academic facilities. They have a lot of things geared towards their athletes exceeding in their classroom – like their study halls are ridiculous."

The UNC Junior Day also provided Collins a one-on-one meeting with Larry Fedora.

"He told me he wanted to get me up to their camp," Collins said. "He said they're really interested in having me be a part of their program. He told me he wanted to meet my mom and my family. So they're pretty excited about me."

Besides UNC, Collins has visited Clemson, NC State, and South Carolina. His travels have resulted in two favorite schools.

"I like Carolina, mainly because it was my most recent visit," Collins said. "I also like Clemson. When I went down to Clemson, they were playing NC State and that crowd was ridiculous. And it was a night game, so the whole atmosphere was great."

Collins has a former teammate at each of his top two schools – Kedrick Davis at UNC and Germone Hopper at Clemson.

"They're both giving me advice with the whole recruiting process," Collins said. "They told me to take my time and have fun. And they both are promoting their programs and they're doing a very good job with that."

Extra Notes

Collins‘s father and uncle both played football at South Carolina. His father played in the early ‘90s. That family connection has led to Collins growing up a Gamecock fan, but he says it won't factor into his recruitment…. Collins is a reserve on the basketball team.

Cayson Collins Profile

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