Jac Collinsworth: Part Two

We finish our conversation with Fort Thomas (KY) Highlands wide receiver Jac Collinsworth, whose older brother Austin won Notre Dame's special teams player of the year award at Friday night's awards show.

If you missed Part One, here is the LINK

Collinsworth's older brother Austin currently serves as a backup safety, dime package linebacker, and special teams starter at Notre Dame. Jac was reminded this season why people should never underestimate the work ethic and desire of his older brother.

"Austin did make some plays this year," said Collinsworth. "He's been working hard and he's finally starting to get to play a little bit. He's a tough dude and he'll continue to work hard the next couple of years."

Putting basketball aside this winter will allow Collinsworth the chance to physically grow. What are his near-term plans?

"I hope to get my body a little bigger and put on some weight," said Collinsworth. "We'll start our weight program in January. Right now I'm about 6-foot-3 to 6-foot-4 and 190-pounds. To be honest with you, this will be the first time I've really trained for something. It's always been natural. So I feel if I can get these old skinny legs and put a little bulk on them, I'll have something to show."

One thing Brian Kelly will love hearing about the younger Collinsworth is his willingness to block from the receiver position.

"We take a lot of pride in our blocking at Highlands," said Collinsworth. "Before you can ever catch a ball at Highlands, you must show coach (Dale) Mueller you can block. For coach Mueller this is the number one thing. He doesn't care if you can catch because if you can block you're going to play.

"It starts in spring football and every time we're watching film. I don't know how many high schools in the country have their coach harping on the receivers on every play about their blocking.

"If you're the backside X as we call it, backside widest guy and the runs going left, you better be over there cutting your guy, moving your feet or you're taking it on film day. That is just the way it is at Highlands."

This past season provided a new coach for the receivers at Highlands as Cris Collinsworth joined the Bluebirds staff working with the receivers.

How was it working with his father?

"This is the first time since junior league he's coached me," said Collinsworth. "He's never coached up at Highlands before this season. It was awesome to have him there. When he comes home during the season, Tuesday he's out, Wednesday he's out working. So whenever he came home, the time when I would be school to football, when I went to football I got to hang with him. You know you've got the best coaching you're going to find especially in a high school atmosphere.

"I got to be coached by a guy who played in the NFL, who commentates the NFL for a living and who breaks down film 24-7. The guy just has an endless amount of knowledge of the game and I just got to learn a lot from him."

Did Jac feel more pressure with his father on the sidelines?

"There was the pressure of having your dad as a coach. You don't want anyone to say they are putting him on the field because his dad is the coach. So that drives you everyday to put in a good days work at every practice.

"With my dad there was none of that and he didn't treat me any different than any of the other receivers. I'm sure you can talk with anybody on the team. He loved the receivers and took a lot of pride in what we did. I feel he was a favorite to a lot of players out there this year."

Irish Eyes will continue to follow the path Jac Collinsworth takes over the next several months as recruiting heats up.

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