For LSU redshirt freshman Jalen Collins, this season has been a learning experience.
The 6-1 195 pound corner back has shown flashes of brilliance at times throughout the season, and at times, his youth has shown as well. The Olive Branch, Miss., native has made 26 tackles to go along with 2 interceptions this season, with one of those coming in last week's victory against Ole Miss.
While Collins had an interception last week, he was also picked on throughout the game and the Ole Miss receivers were quite productive against him. Collins said the entire LSU secondary is working this week to improve on their mistakes from last game.
"I wouldn't say we're doing anything different," Collins said. "We just come out and do what we do. We're focusing a lot on our coverages right now and trying to eliminate the little mistakes that we have in technique. We just need to make sure that we are prepared this week."
Collins, like most other defensive backs, hates to give up completions to opposing receivers. However, he now understands how he has to handle his emotions when a play doesn't go his way.
"It's always tough when you give up completions," Collins said. "Playing defensive back you have to have short-term memory and just look towards the next play. We have been working on that in practice and are trying to eliminate any mistakes."
Another big aspect on Collins' mental outlook is that he understands what he is doing wrong in his technique and how he needs to fix it. The ability to recognize mistakes has been big for Collins and he says that the veterans and coaches have helped him with it.
"When I've gotten beat, I've had my eyes in the wrong place or I don't get my head around, things like that," Collins said. "I think experience will help me with that. The older guys have a lot of experience and their communication is really good. I've been learning from them all year and it has been a big help to me.
"[Defensive backs] Coach [Corey] Raymond is hard on technique and he has just helped me and all of the other young guys get a better understanding of the game and how things work. He has really explained to us that if we do something wrong it could result in something bad in a play."
Collins explained that even with the recent struggles in the secondary, the Tigers aren't deviating from their goals that they have every game.
"We try to focus on not letting anyone get anything on us," Collins said. "The coaches have been pounding it into our heads that we need to be able to shut it down and not let anybody score on us, especially at the end of the game."
With Ole Miss throwing for 316 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers last week, Collins understands that they are playing an offense with similar capabilities this weekend in Arkansas. Collins says quarterback Tyler Wilson is the key to the game.
"He's a really good quarterback and probably one of the better ones we will see this year," Collins said. "He's got a really great arm and they have some really great receivers as well. We're just going to have to shut them down."
The Arkansas offense could be labeled as more pro-style than that of Ole Miss. Collins believes that he secondary will have a big day on Saturday and will be looking to force turnovers.
"They are a little more pro style," Collins said. "They play a little bit more traditional football so it shouldn't be as confusing trying to defend it. We focus on getting turnovers and it's something that we like to do. We are going to go in there and try to pick them off and get our offense on the field."
Collins Working on Mistakes
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