Collier Could Follow Big Brother To Pitt

Some little brothers are dead set against following older siblings to the same college, especially athletes who play the same sports, but don't count Averin Collier in that group.

A standout running back-defensive back from Churchville-Chili High School in Churchville, N.Y., Averin Collier would be all too happy to follow big brother Kevin to the University of Pittsburgh next season. Kevin Collier is a sophomore tailback with the Panthers this fall.

But Averin Collier might also choose Clemson, Syracuse or Central Florida from among his dozen or so current scholarship offers. Averin added that some schools are just joining the mix and have yet to offer him, so they have to be considered as well.

"I don't think it will affect me one way or the other,'' Averin Collier said about teaming up with brother Kevin. "If we play on the same team, it's not like we haven't done that before. We did it in high school, obviously, and we're competitors. So, it would be good for us, and we're real close.

"But, at the same time, he understands that if I choose another school I did it because it was the best choice for me. So, that's it. Kevin has always been straight with me. He tells me about the coaches here and how they're going to be when I get here. I know it's the same everywhere, though.''

Averin Collier said he's well aware that all the coaches will wine and dine him throughout the recruiting process, but once he verbally commits and certainly after he finally signs their scholarship offer things will return to business as usual. But "that's just fine with me,'' he added.

Thanks to Kevin's recruitment by the Panthers, Averin has spent quite a bit of time on campus. And he spoke glowingly about his experiences.

"As far as Pitt goes, it feels like home to me,'' Averin Collier said. "And that's not just because Kevin is here. It felt like that to me before he even committed here. When we first came down here, I came here with him on his recruiting visit and thought it was beautiful. I really liked it. They have great coaches and great facilities, and they can prepare you for the next level.

"Pitt also has great academics, and that's important to me. They have all the resources here, computer labs in the dorms and in this training facility. They have it all, as far as I'm concerned. Everything is right here for you. You just have to take care of business. And I really like all the players, so it would be an easy transition for me to come here from high school.''

Averin Collier has played both running back and defensive back in high school. He could play either position for the Panthers and noted that it didn't matter where they put him.

"I just want to get on the field and play,'' Averin Collier said. "So, that's a big part of my decision, but I don't want to make it too fast. I want to make sure I look at everything and get a good representation when I make a final list.

"I've been to a lot of campuses, Virginia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Connecticut, all over, so I've seen a lot of places. And I've been through this process before with Kevin, so I have a little experience and can look back and think about that. And we talk all the time, so he helps me through it.''

And what does big brother Kevin think about the situation.

"He's a great player, and it would be great to have him here at Pitt,'' Kevin Collier said. "But he has to make the decision that's the best for him.''

Averin Collier said that Pitt, Clemson, Syracuse and Central Florida were his top choices. Some of the other school who have offered him are Virginia, Connecticut, Boston College, Louisville, Temple, Buffalo and Maryland.

Collier ran for 1,582 yards and 22 touchdowns last fall and had 2,200 all-purpose yards and 26 scores overall while lining up as a running back, quarterback and receiver. He also played linebacker and defensive back.

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