Landon Collins will be one of the most sought after 2012 prospects in all of the country, but to this point the Dutchtown High safety/linebacker hasn’t done much looking around.
“I wasn’t big on visits or anything like that during my junior year,” Collins said. “I just stayed focused on Friday nights.”
In what turned into the most successful season in Dutchtown football history, the Griffins ran out to a 12-0 start before falling to Westgate in the third round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Without former defensive star Eric Reid, the spotlight was on Collins, a call he answered to the tune of 102 tackles and four interceptions. The LSWA named him First-Team All State as a result.
“That was a big honor,” said the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, who was selected as a linebacker. “I’m not trying to rest now though. I have to come back with that same effort next year, and hopefully we end the year with a different result.”
Collins soon begins track season, where he will compete in the 4 x 1 relay, 4 x 2 relay, 100 and 200-meter dash. This time, staying in shape will hold a new meaning.
“For the first time I am going to start on both sides of the ball,” Collins said. “I’ll still play safety and linebacker, but with Effrem Reed graduating I will also play running back. I expect to get maybe 20 carries a game, which will be a lot.
“This spring with track I will just try and get into the best shape of my life. I usually don’t lose weight either. I don’t know what it is with my body, but I will come out of track season still weighing 205.”
Before the season begins, Collins will make a handful of Junior Day visits to college campuses. He currently has two stops in Baton Rouge on the itinerary.
“I talked to coach Frank (Wilson) and they invited me over there this weekend for their smaller one, then I’ll be back again for the bigger Junior Day in February,” he said. “I also have plans to go visit Alabama, Texas A&M and Arkansas. It’s a pretty busy time for me, but it gives me a chance to finally go out and get to know some of these coaching staffs.”
While he has interest coming from coast to coast, only two schools have offered so far: LSU and Tennessee. Collins said the Tigers recruit him heavily, but that a number of other schools are beginning to increase their contact.
As for his current impression of the LSU program, Collins pointed to the Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M as a statement for what Les Miles and Co. have to offer.
“I watched all the game, and I have to say I was most impressed by all the young guys that were out there tearing it up for LSU,” he said. “Seeing an old teammate out there like Eric Reid is crazy, because just a year ago we were playing together here at Dutchtown. That lets me know that the coaches are going to play the talented guys, no matter your age.”