Iowa in on Collins

Maliek Collins is working towards a college decision and a state wrestling title. He spoke with Hawkeye Insider about those pursuits.

Maliek Collins isn't sure how far along he is in the recruiting process. The Class of 2013 defensive tackle does know he's not close to the finish line.

"I feel I still have a little bit of time left to think about it and process all of this in my mind," the Kansas City product said. "I'm trying to figure out where it's best for me to go."

Collins' timetable looks like it could cost him a chance to stay in his home state for college.

"Missouri, I think they're almost done recruiting," Collins said. "I don't think they're trying to wait it out with me."

Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas have become the focus for Collins. He has scheduled a visit to Lincoln for Jan. 4.

"I would say that Nebraska stands out a little bit but I really don't know too much about Iowa," Collins said. "I'm still researching them. I'm still trying to see what Iowa is about. I don't have a visit set, but I plan on taking one."

Collins finished his senior season at Center Senior High with 102 tackles, 43 of which were for a loss. He also recorded 15 sacks and had 84 pancake blocks as an offensive lineman. rates the 6-foot-2, 285-pound Collins as a three-star prospect. The service pegs him as the No. 57 DT nationally in his class.

Collins said he plans on making his college choice on or around Feb. 6, when the national letter of intent signing period begins.

Collins is an accomplished wrestler. He ranks No. 1 in the state with a 16-0 record after a junior season that saw him post a 49-3 mark. It makes it difficult for him to visit college campuses.

"It's getting down to that time getting ready for state and I don't want to be missing too many tournaments," Collins said. "I was talking to (Iowa) Coach (LeVar) Woods. He said I could even come up on a weekday in January if that works."

Collins is getting to know Woods, and through him, the University of Iowa.

"I try to ask him questions. He tells me some stuff, like about the coaches, but he told me to research there," Collins said. "He said he wants me to find out what I think. He doesn't want to sway me. He wants me to do the research on the schools that I have and see which one I like best.

"He said that they like how I'm explosive and I come off of the ball. They like my upside and my athleticism. He said I can play for the Iowa Hawkeyes."

Assistant John Garrison is leading Nebraska's recruitment of Collins. Defensive Line Coach Rick Kaczenski, who spent five years coaching the position at Iowa, also is working on the KC tackle.

"I think they're pretty cool," Collins said. "Coach Kaczenski, he's a cool position coach. He seems like a coach that will get on you and then he seems like a coach that will let you know when you're doing good, too."

Collins knows what he wants from a program.

"I like to have supportive people around me that are like family," he said. "For a coach, I want someone that is cool but he knows what time it is; when it's time to work. I don't want a buddy-buddy coach. I want a coach that's going to get on me and make me get better. Someone that is going to push me."

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