Fallen Through The Cracks?

Toney Collins, one of the top athletes in Florida, has no visits scheduled, but has his top four. Once, a highly sought after talent, Collins is now wondering where the calls are, including Kansas State's.

A decision could come next week from one of the top defensive backs in the country in three-star athlete Toney Collins. Described by many as one of the top athletes to come out of Florida this year, Collins has his list down to four, including Kansas State, Washington, Minnesota, and East Carolina.

Though Collins, who has a 4.37 40-yard time, hasn't visited anywhere yet, he will continue as planned and make his selection next week. Some of interest in Washington lies in the family connection he has there with his cousin Charles Frederick. But while Collins list three major college programs, his somewhat odd-ball of the group, ECU, is the only one that has actively been pursuing a visit with Collins.

"It feels weird that I haven't visited anywhere, like everyone else," he said. "My track coach told me to just focus on track and the football stuff will happen, but it hasn't. I feel like I was left behind or something, like I was passed up because I didn't do something earlier."

Collins, at 6-foot-0 170 pounds ranks at No. 59 nationally at cornerback, but has more experience in high school at free safety. Just this past weekend Collins was named MVP of his respective squad in the10th Annual Outback Steakhouse Treasure Coast All-Star football game after pulling in two interceptions.

"It was awesome playing in that game," he said. "The speed of the game was so much faster than regular season. I'm glad I was able to do well and show my skills."

Collins' versatility at defensive back is perhaps his greatest asset. Last season as a junior, Collins had 71 tackles and four interceptions. He is also a state high school champion at high jump and averaged over 18 points a game in basketball last season.

"I can cover as well as anyone," he said. "I have good speed and break on the ball, great pick-up speed at either corner or free safety. I just see the field well and don't get beat very often."

Collins, early on was garnishing a lot of attention from the in-state schools, but mainly for track and field. He's upset that nobody wants him for football, especially the Florida Gators, his local team and favorite growing up.

"I would love to stay local, best place for me," he said. "I've always wanted to be a Gator. That has never changed."

And as far as K-State goes, Collins feels like he was pushed aside and he's not sure why he hasn't heard from the Wildcats' coaching staff since earlier this fall. K-State's Brett Bielema was recruiting him.

"It's been a long time for them," he said. "If they'd call me and talk to me, I'd still like to consider them. But I don't want to call myself if they don't want me."

Collins just wants to play football. It's that simple for this athlete, who is 20 years old. Because of past issues early in Collins' life, it's prohibited him from enjoying the regular, or normalcy most high school seniors are used to. Because of his age, Collins will not be able to participate in basketball or track this season, a sport he was focusing on instead of the process of recruiting. His last football game marked the last time he'll be a high school athlete.

"It's been so frustrating with these people," he said. "I can't even tell you how hard it's been to go through this. I just want to play. That's all I want. But people, the parents and coaches for other teams say I'm too good to play, too fast, too physical for the other guys."

"I just love to play sports. It's so exciting to be able to do that in front of people. I want everyone to get their money's worth when I'm on the field. That's what I try to do every time I go out there."


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