Provine HS Football Coach Willie Collins

Coach Willie Collins is one of the most successful high school coaches in Mississippi history. He has been coaching at Provine High School for 21 years. Coach Collins was kind enough to talk about several underclassmen of his during a December 26, 2001 interview.

Coach Collins, I know you have quite a few underclassmen that are very talented. Do you mind telling me a little about a few of them? I know about juniors Jeremy Young and Quinton Culberson.
"(DB/WR) Quinton (Culberson) made the first-team All-State team (as a junior). Jeremy Young made the second-team All-Metro. They are both pretty good. Culberson is probably one of the best athletes that has come through here. He is loaded with talent. Last year, he came in second in the high-jump in the State. He jumped 6-8 as a sophomore. He is a legitimate 4.5 forty. He is pretty strong. He is about 6-1, 205 to 210. He is the total package. He is one of those kids who probably will be playing on Sunday. He has that much talent. (This past season, Quinton caught 17 passes for 259 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also recorded 5 interceptions.) Jeremy will probably be one of the premiere quarterbacks coming out next season. (He attempted 140 passes, completing 72 of them for 1,155 yards and 16 touchdowns.) Then, we have Greg Clark, he is our (junior) tailback. He is about 5-11, 205 to 210. He is a power runner. He ran for almost 2,000 yards (1,951 with 21 touchdowns to be exact) this past season. He caught something like 280 yards passing (Exact numbers: 20 receptions, 284 yards, 1 touchdown.)."

How long have they being starting for you? "Jeremy, Cul and Greg started as 10th graders. Greg was a fullback for us as a 10th grader. We moved him to tailback, which is his natural position. The best thing about Greg is his power. He is a hard runner and a hard worker and he has pretty good speed."

Will Greg be a tailback or a fullback on the college level?
"He will probably be a tailback on the college level. He is not a 4.4 (forty) man, probably a 4.6, but that is good speed.

"We have another (junior) named Robert Hough who plays tight end for us. He is about 6-4, 195-pounds right now. His brother, Charlie Anderson, plays up at Ole Miss. He has pretty good genes. He did a real good job for us this year. He played not only tight end but defensive end for us. I think he can play big receiver in college, but it really depends on whether he can gain weight like Charlie. He has a big frame but he plays basketball and track. That keeps him kind of busy. He probably runs in the 4.5 to 4.6 range. He also has good hands.

"We also have another (junior) named Omar Sherrod, who is one of our coaches' sons. He does a good job playing free safety and receiver for us. I guess he is about 5-11, 160. He is a hard worker and has pretty good speed, probably about 4.6. He also runs track. I really think he will play receiver on the college level because he has real good hands and he runs good routes. That is what his dad played on the college level.

"Another junior that we have is Sandy Quinn. He is talented. He plays tight end and defensive end for us. He is about 6-3, 225. Terrence Kelly is another one. He plays linebacker for us. He is about 6-1, 225 to 230. He has some potential. They have been starting since the 10th grade.

"We have another junior, David Allen, who played left tackle for us. He is about 6-2, 225 and did a really good job for us. He had some brothers who played for us."

Looks like you are going to be pretty good next year.
"On paper, we are supposed to be pretty good. You know how that is (laugh)."

What about sophomores?
"George Christian is our center. He is not that tall but he is very athletic. He is about 5-11, 310. He will probably be 6-0 by next year. He has really good athletic ability and he is very strong. He is as strong as (senior) Monte (Collins). He also plays defensive tackle for us. He can run too. He is a heck of an athlete.

"We have another kid named Marcellus Speaks who plays linebacker for us. He is about 6-2, 205. He is going to be taller than that because his daddy and mother are tall. He has good speed but needs to work on it. He is about a 4.7 to 4.8 man right now. He starts for us and even started some as a 9th grader.

"Cedric Clark played left (offensive) guard for us as a sophomore. He is about 5-10, 295. He did a good job for us.

"We even had two 9th graders who started for us this past season. Both of them are very athletic. One is Michael James and the other one is Patrick Lacy. Michael James probably runs a 4.4 forty. If he doesn't run that, he is close to it. Michael is about 5-9 and weighs 175 to 180. Patrick is about 5-9 and 170. He probably runs in the 4.5 to 4.6 range."

It is amazing you are starting two 9th graders at cornerback. You coached Fred Smoot. How do they compare to him?
"Smoot didn't develop until he was going into his senior year. He always had some potential and talent but he didn't really develop until he was going into his senior year. You really can't compare them to him because of that. The difference is Fred was taller than them, although he was skinny. He was a really good basketball player."

Thanks for your time, Coach Collins.

While I plan on calling all the high school football coaches in Mississippi during the next two to three months, if you are a Mississippi high school football coach and would like for me to go ahead and contact you now, please email me your home or office phone number and the best time to call you and I will give you a call. You can contact me by email at

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

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