Jackson Progress

Jackson High School (GA) standout defensive lineman Duke Collins talks Mississippi State official visit.

Mississippi State welcomed a half dozen official visitors to campus this weekend as Coach Dan Mullen and his staff looked for the final pieces of the 2017 signing class. The Bulldogs have just a few spots left to fill, so some college football hopefuls will spend some anxious nights between now and Wednesday hoping scholarship papers from Starkville arrive before they make their college decisions.

His friends call him Duke, but Jaquavious Collins is simply grateful that his name will be on a college football roster this fall. The proud owner of over a dozen scholarship offers, Collins has sorted through his college options and will make the call later this week.

As he deliberates his college future, the talented defensive end does with fresh memories made at Mississippi State.

"They have been recruiting me since my eleventh grade year," Collins said of Mississippi State. "I had already been over there before and seen a lot of things on campus, but this weekend was a little different. I saw a lot of the same things before, but I got the chance to see the dorms and see a lot more of the facilities."

Collins shares that the better part of his visit involved the facilities and people who would be a part of his daily life should be enroll at Mississippi State as a student athlete.

"I enjoyed going to see the stadium and being in the photo shoot and all of those things, but the best part was just being around the players," Collins said. "I enjoyed just being able to hang out and walk around with the players. We got to spend a lot of time with them and just see how it is in the dorms and things like that."

One player in particular played a big part in things this weekend. Defensive lineman Braxton Hoyett had the hosting duties for Collins' official visit. It appears that the two hit it off rather quickly.

"I really like Braxton. He's a pretty cool guy," Collins said. "He told me that you have to come in there ready to work, because it takes a lot of work to play in the SEC. He told me about the workouts and about what it's really like up there. They have a lot of good players coming back and he is excited about the season."

Collins claims over a dozen scholarship offers, but as the hours wind down on the recruiting process, it appears that one school is emerging as a strong candidate.

"Mississippi State is my top school right now," Collins said. "I am going to wait and talk about things with my parents, but Mississippi State is right there at the top. I am going to announce my decision on National Signing Day. We are going to have a ceremony at the school Wednesday morning."

Collins helped lead Jackson to an 8-4 record this fall by recording 36 tackles, four sacks and forcing one fumble. For his efforts, Jackson was named to the All-Region team.

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