RECRUITING: Texas LB climbing the charts

Sooners have their eyes on speedy Justin, Texas linebacker Blake Collier.

Blake Collier, LB, 6'1 ½, 208, 4.48, JUSTIN (NORTHWEST HS), TEXAS:

The linebackers that catch everybody's attention early on in the recruiting process are those that can run, and every few run as fast or as well as Blake Collier.

Blessed with sprinters speed, Collier has become one of the top linebackers in the state of Texas, and he is one of those linebackers that have caught the eye of a number of national programs as well.

"I played defensive end my whole football career, but last year my football coaches noticed I had a lot of speed and changed me to linebacker," said Collier. "I like playing linebacker a lot and I have a lot of fun playing the position. It is definitely a more complicated position than defensive end, but I didn't do too bad. I can play a whole lot better than I played last year."

In his first year at linebacker, Collier finished with 88 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a blocked punt.

"Last year was OK for me, but I know that I am going to do a whole lot better this year," said Collier. "My linebacker coach (Coach Perez) is a great coach and he says that I am going to have a great year this year. I am real close to all my coaches, but he is my position coach and he really believes in me. All the coaches are great and help me out."

Collier can bench 300 pounds and he works out with 345 pounds on three sets of three in squats. He also posted a 31-inch vertical jump at the Scout Combine in Waco, Texas last weekend.

Collier also runs the 100M (10.74/fourth in regional) and the anchor in the sprint relay, and was leading at the state meet before dropping the baton. He also runs the second leg on the 4X200 relay team that finished second in state.

Collier has been offered by Baylor, Texas Tech, SMU, Indiana, Houston and Kansas at this time, but that list will grow the more college coaches get a chance to look at him.

"Right now I like Texas Tech, Baylor, OU and Texas A&M," said Collier. "I have talked to Coach Venables at Oklahoma and I like him a great deal. He is a nice guy and I have talked to him a couple of times on the phone. I think if I go out to their summer camp that I will get an offer. I am going to try to make it out there. I would have to say that Tech is out in front of everybody, but my decision is still wide open at this point."

Collier admits he has not made any plans to go to camps, but if he does go it will be to a schools' one-day camp. Besides OU, Collier is thinking about attending the Texas A&M camp. He went to a Texas Tech, SMU and Baylor junior days and said that he liked the Bears' junior day best.

Collier says his GPA is in good shape and he has taken his SAT test, but has not received his scores at press time.

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