True, the pool at this time of year is small on still-available players, and it’s very small on quarterbacks who generally commit in the spring and summer coming off their junior year.
But it’s key to note Collins missed the bulk of his junior year, a critical time in recruiting these days, having to sit out a period after transferring from Helix High to Granite Hills.
It’s also instructive to look at how the recruitment of Collins played out. Gary Andersen made it clear from Day One to QB James Pensyl, previously committed to OSU under Mike Riley, that he likely needed to look elsewhere. Pensyl was a 6-6, 205-pound pocket passer in the mold of Sean Mannion. And Andersen has repeatedly said he will run his quarterback.
But Pensyl was a three-star prospect. And Collins is rated two stars. So there’s been some angst among the Beaver fans. But in plain English, simply consider that Dave Baldwin and Kevin McGiven, the Beavers’ new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, respectively, wanted Collins more than they wanted Pensyl.
He’s the type of QB that fits their system, Collins didn’t play his junior year and his early arrival is a major plus.
Those two Beaver assistant coaches ran the recruiting point, Collins said, with Baldwin whom he talked with most.
“Coach McGiven and Coach Baldwin… compared me to Chuckie Keeton (at Utah State) and said they wanted to do the same things with me as they did with him – maybe run me a little bit more. But they basically just said they liked my athleticism, my speed and that I can throw the football,” Collins said.
OSU first contacted him this weekend and by Monday night, he was a Beaver.
“They were basically just selling their product and why it was the perfect fit for me. After a while, I just bought in… They like my athleticism, my quick release… and that it really helps for a quarterback to be athletic in their system… and that’s the kind of offense I was really looking (for),” said Collins.
Was there a tipping point where he knew he should flip his commitment from San Jose State to Oregon State?
“It was a combo of things. Everyone is doing what is best for them because at the end of the day, it really is a business… the OC who brought me in at San Jose, I was seeing he might go to Michigan so everyone is just doing what is best for them. And I was just really excited to listen to what (Baldwin and McGiven) were saying. I realize God opens and closes doors, and this was a door I felt like I should walk through,” said Collins.
Collins said he didn’t speak with Andersen as much as Baldwin and McGiven but one thing Andersen did say – that the QB spot is wide open heading into spring – spoke volumes.
And that would not seem to be just the usual coach-speak you hear so often, with Andersen implementing a different system and one where the upperclassmen QBs on hand were recruited to a different offensive style under Riley.
Spring ball just got a whole lot more interesting at the QB spot at Oregon State.