"I have been starting ever since my 9th grade year, but I was playing receiver until last year," stated the 6' 3", 210 pound Jamie Collins. "They wanted to me to start playing QB during the 7 on 7 games the summer going into my 10th grade year. We just clicked, and I led our team to a 14-1 record and we won State. I guess I had a little experience, but not much, just a lot of talent."
As a sophomore, Jamie had over 2, 000 yards of offense (1, 200 passing/890 rushing) and totaled 29 TD's. He was named Most Valuable Back, All-District, and All-Area for his on the field accomplishments.
This season he has gotten off to another hot start as Franklin County steam rolled Hazlehurst and McComb.
"In the first game, I had like 186 yards passing and 87 yards rushing. Then against McComb on Friday, I threw for 118 yards and 1 TD and ran for 112 yards and a TD."
Besides his obvious God given skills; what are Collins' strengths?
"My arm and ability to run. I think I am pretty smart out there too. I study a lot of film, which I think gives me an advantage. If our OL holds up, I am going to make a big play."
As good as Collins is at QB; he believes his talents are better suited for another position.
"The position I am best at is WR. Every college camp I have been to, they always put me at WR. That is what I think I am going to be recruited as, but my favorite position to play is QB."
Which camps has Jamie attended?
"LSU and Ole Miss."
Jamie received his first two SEC offers recently.
"I got an offer from Auburn last week, and Ole Miss offered me this past summer."
Who else is heavily involved?
"LSU, Florida, and Texas."
Which colleges have caught Jamie's eye so far?
"Maybe Ole Miss or LSU or maybe Texas. I would have to think about that. I have not been on my visits, so I will have to see."
Has Jamie had a chance to visit any colleges, unofficially?
"I went to the Ole Miss/Missouri game on Saturday. I am going to the LSU/Florida game, and I am going back to Ole Miss when they play Florida next weekend. The only campuses I have been to are Ole Miss and LSU. I have probably been up to Ole Miss 7 or 8 times and LSU 3 or 4 times. I have a cousin (Marcus Tillman) who plays for Ole Miss and another cousin (Josh Tillman) that is going to Ole Miss next year. Marcus' mom is my mom's sister. I ride up there a lot with her to go hang out with Marcus. That is why I have been up there so much. And LSU, my coach likes them a lot, so he brings us over there to see some games and go to their camps and stuff. Those are the only two schools I have seen in person, but I plan to see some more over the next two years."
The Rebels lost to Missouri 38-25, but their comeback in the 2nd half made an impression with Jamie.
"I think they have a good environment, first of all. I also like their staff a lot. I just know all of them really good because of my cousins and all. Their players get along real well too. There are just a lot of things I like about Ole Miss. And I tell you what really impressed me, they do not back down when they are down by a lot. They got down 35-7 at the start of the second half, and they just kept fighting and fighting. They never gave up. They could have won the thing if they would not have stalled out at the end. I just think Coach O is going to win big up there when he gets all of his players in (his system)."
The Ole Miss coaches had a message for Jamie when they saw him at the game.
"They told me to keep up the good work, and I am going to be real successful when I become an Ole Miss Rebel."
Collins has the luxury of having his first cousin, Marcus Tillman, already at Ole Miss. This gives him an inside view of what it is like at the U of M.
"He just gives me his thoughts about Ole Miss. Marcus never has a bad thing to say about it up there. He takes me around and shows me the ropes up there."
Jamie is blessed to have several of his family members on his team. How does that effect his decision making?
"It is good to play with family, but on the field, I can not call them family members. I have to do what I think is best to win. I can not keep passing the ball to my family. I have to pass the ball to the man who is open. You have to be careful with that, or you will hurt the team. Bo Tillman and Josh (Tillman) are always telling me they are open when they are in at TE. I have to tell them to settle down. And Garcia (Vaughn), he always thinks he is open (laugh). But like I am telling you, I tell them. I have to do what is best to win games. But yea, it is a lot of fun playing with your kins like Bo, Josh, Garcia, and Marcus too ,when he was here. We have a lot of good games in the street. That is for sure (laugh)."
Back to recruiting, what stands out with LSU?
"I like their motivation. They motivate you a lot. They are always sending me post cards with these motivation poems and stuff in it. They keep you thinking at LSU. They get you all hyped up for a big game. They have a good staff up there too. And of course, they have good players, really good players. I just like a lot about LSU."
Where does Auburn stand?
"I do not know too much about Auburn, but they are up there with Florida and Texas because I have never been up there. I only know about Ole Miss and LSU. They are in that group with Florida and Texas."
Which position is each school recruiting Jamie to play?
"Ole Miss and Auburn like me at QB, although Ole Miss might recruit me a little at WR too. LSU is recruiting me for WR, and Texas, they do not know yet. They are recruiting me more as an athlete than anything else."