Full Back Torn Between Rivals

If you had a chance to watch Monsignor Pace play during their run at a state title last season, you probably saw fullback Conredge Collins running through and around opposing defenses.

He finished last season with over 1,400 yards on the ground as he helped lead Pace to the state championship in Class 3A. Head coach Joe Zaccheo is glad Collins is on his side.

"He had a real good year for us and I think he has a chance to be a special player at the next level someday," Zaccheo said.

Collins, who ran for 64 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against Dillard in a spring jamboree last week, said he believes he's the best running back in the city.

"I feel like I'm the best and strongest running back in Dade County," he said. "I feel like I'm on another level."

Collins, 5-11 and 220 pounds, has been running the ball for eight years now on a football field. Now he's focusing on helping Pace get back to the state game.

"My two big goals this year are to rush for 2,000 yards and to win another state title," he said. "That would be a perfect ending to my high school career."

Collins, who doesn't participate in any other varsity sports, has become a major prospect in the eyes of a lot of college coaches.

"I talked to a whole lot of coaches last month," he said. "Pittsburgh called, NC State, Florida, then Florida State called me on the last day. They said that Bobby Bowden will be coming down to watch me later in the year."

Collins said while he didn't get a home phone call from UM during May, head coach Larry Coker stopped by Pace.

"He stopped by to see us," he said. "He told (Coach) Zac(cheo) that they're gonna be offering."

Collins said while it's nice that he's getting all the attention from out of state programs, he prefers the in-state schools.

"Really, I wanna stay in the state of Florida," he said. "It's really out of Miami and Florida State. Those are my two top choices right there. Florida State is who I liked as a kid growing up. But Miami is right here at home and all their running backs end up in the league."

One thing's for sure, Collins will have plenty of competition if he picks FSU or UM.

"I don't care how many guys are there," he said. "I'm gonna have to compete just like they are. I'd just try to go in and help."

Collins said while many people refer to him as a fullback, he wants people to know what his preference is.

"I'm gonna be a running back in college," said Collins, who is still undecided on his summer camp plans.

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