Eric Reid left Dutchtown High ranked as the nation’s No. 4 safety, a four-star prospect who typified the idea of an oversized defensive back.
At just 18 years old, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder could either stay put at safety or add weight and move to outside linebacker. And with defensive coordinator John Chavis’ lean towards hybrid strongside linebackers, the idea of moving Reid around will come sooner than later.
For those that favor a player like Reid, there’s more on the way – and the name once again hails from Geismar, La. Defensive back Landon Collins, a 6-foot, 203-pound rising junior at Dutchtown, has already moved onto the college football map.
“Landon’s already on everyone’s radar,” said Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia. “He has gone to camps and done some things that have really grabbed some people’s attention. Landon will be heavily recruited not just because he is a tremendous athlete, but because he has good grades and is a good kid.”
Collins, a starter during his sophomore campaign, still has two more years of high school before he steps foot on a college campus, leaving Saia to believe that much like with Reid, the sky is certainly the limit.
“I think he’s a similar athlete to Eric being that he’s big and strong and can really run, and that’s a pretty good combination to have,” Saia said. “He just brings a lot of athleticism to the position, and he makes plays in space. You aren’t going to see Landon’s skills in many kids across the state.
“He became a big part of our defense last year as an outside linebacker and strong safety, and he played the whole time. For a kid like Landon to make All-District as a sophomore, that says something about how talented he is.”
Though still far in the distance, the debate for the next level – as it was with Reid – remains where Collins ends up on the defensive side.
“Being that he’s already over 200 pounds, the question becomes where do you play him,” Saia said. “He’s obviously the outside linebacker or strong safety type, but you just don’t know yet. If he gets too much bigger then he becomes an inside backer. But with the way he runs, I think he’s a guy that plays on the outside.”
As for his college choices, Collins has already formed a top group, and the hope remains that coaches from each staff send scholarship offers come the first of September.
“LSU, Alabama, Texas, USC, Nebraska and Georgia are the teams that I would love to get an offer from,” Collins said. “I’ve been getting questionnaires and mail from each school, but nothing more than that. I’m sure that once coaches can start offering scholarships then I will hear more.”
The LSU staff will get a first-hand look at Collins in just a few weeks time, an opportunity to make an impression that the Dutchtown standout doesn’t want to pass him by.
“I am going to be there for the entire July camp, and I’m definitely ready to show up with a big performance,” Collins said. “LSU is one that stands out to me, so getting an early offer from them would be huge. I’m coming over to Baton Rouge focused.
“I don’t want to say that I have any favorite teams yet, but I’ve been to a few games with Eric in Tiger Stadium, and I checked out the spring game as well, and I’ve always loved the atmosphere at LSU. I’m going to look around and probably want to even take some visits, but LSU is definitely up there as I get this whole process started.”