Jac Collinsworth: Part 1

Despite missing the first part of his junior season with a nagging hamstring, Jac Collinsworth still played a significant role in Fort Thomas (KY) Highlands winning their fifth consecutive state championship.

Fort Thomas (KY) Highlands entered the state championship game last weekend with a 19-game winning streak in tow thanks to a high-powered offense and that offense didn't let down with the Bluebirds winning their 21st state championship in a 42-14 victory over Franklin-Simpson.

With Kentucky quarterback pledge Patrick Towles throwing him the football this season, Jac Collinsworth showed signs of following in his father Cris Collinsworth's footsteps as a top flight wide receiver.

Collinsworth was extremely happy with his team's performance, one that took advantage of consistent running lanes, in the title game.

"It was all good," said Collinsworth. "They were playing off a little bit and we just ran the ball all over them. I think we were in dive for about 90% of the plays. It was sort of a strange game to be honest."

The win gave Collinsworth his third state championship tying him with older brother and current Notre Dame safety, Austin. Is the goal to earn one more than his older brother?

"That's right," said Collinsworth. "We'll see if I can pass him next year with my fourth championship."

A promising junior season took a turn in the summer as the 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to watch from the sidelines early.

However, before it was over Collinsworth showed why some analysts are starting to compare him to his father, pulling down 26 balls for 493 yards and five touchdowns.

"The hamstring finally came around," said Collinsworth. "It started in summer camp right before we got started and it kind of lingered into the start of the season. You spend all year getting in shape and then that happens and you're sitting on the sidelines for four to six weeks, so that kind of stunk.

"It will be good this offseason to get my leg stronger doing some squats. So I'm looking forward to finally getting my leg strong again."

With his focus on his football future, Collinsworth made a hard decision just this week about his winter activities.

"I've played basketball in the past," said Collinsworth. "But I just went in and talked with my coach and informed him I'm not playing this year. It was kind of strange, but this is a football decision to take some time off and then really get into the grind of it."

As for the schools showing interest early, not much has changed.

"I've received letters and game invites from several schools," said Collinsworth. "Kentucky, Nebraska, Louisville, Mississippi, Mississippi State, and Arkansas are some who have sent information or invited me to games."

One program of high interest is Notre Dame; the chance to team up with his brother for a second go around is obviously attractive.

"Notre Dame wanted me to get up to their summer camp," said Collinsworth. "However, I wasn't able to get up there because of the hamstring injury. So I'm looking to get up there this summer and give them a chance to look at me.

"I would love to play with Austin again and that would be one of the major pull factors. However, it would all depend on where I had offers from and how much they wanted me. It's pretty obvious Notre Dame would be a tough place to turn down. But there are some other places I really like as well."

When asked who else stood out, Collinsworth named a surprise program.

"A big one that I really like that might be a little big of a surprise is Harvard," said Collinsworth. "I really like Harvard because my sister is there and I had the chance to meet their coach a few years back when they were recruiting Austin. He seemed like a pretty cool guy.

"And a Harvard education would just really be unreal. They are one place I'm planning on going to camp this summer. Kentucky would be another. Playing with Pat (Towles) would be awesome. So if I got an offer from them they are one I would look at.

"The rest we'll just have to see how my career goes next year."

We'll have more with Jac Collinsworth coming in Part Two as we talk more about his brother Austin and learn about a season spend with his father coaching the wide receivers at Highlands.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories