8 youthful questions for Jed Collins

THE OLD SAYING THAT you can't tell the players without a scorecard seems a tailor-made description for Washington State's Jed Collins. For one, the third-year junior is now on his third jersey number -– going from 52 to 44 to 41. But more so, you just never know where on the field you might find him -– blocking, catching, rushing, tackling.

One minute he's on the receiving end of an Alex Brink pass, the next he's bulldozing for a short-yardage touchdown, the next he's ear-holing an unsuspecting return man.

To top it off, he's an all-academic performer. And get this, he says he wishes he'd stuck with music in his youth so he'd be more well rounded.

Collins does a little bit of everything for the Cougars and by all accounts he does it well. In the big win over Oregon a few weeks ago he scored two touchdowns, caught three passes for 57 yards and rushed for six yards in his first start as the "go to" tight end in place of then-injured Cody Boyd.

The File On
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Tight end/fullback

Third-year junior

6-2, 243 pounds

Over Utah and Wyoming.

Burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2004 at Oregon State when he played on offense, defense and special teams, making two tackles, catching two passes and rushing once. Last season he played mostly on special teams and in a handful of blocking back situations. Moved to tight end last spring.

This season he has 20 receptions for 295 yards and three TDs. He's also rushed four times for two TDs, and made 13 tackles on special teams.

A three-year standout at Mission Viejo High, where he was league Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and state Division II Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. An honorable mention "Best in the West" choice by the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Rated by Scout.com as one of the top 60 prep LB prospects in the nation.

His dad, Michael, and brother, Jake, both played basketball at Seattle University, while brother Lenny played at Cornell.

Last week he took time to answer a few questions from me -- a 13-year-old Cougar fan -- as part of a new weekly column aimed at asking WSU players the questions adults don't seem to think of asking.

CF.C: Some people call you "Jedzilla." Do you like that nickname or would you like to be called something else?

Collins: I like the nickname. When you earn a nickname from a group of guys it shows that they accepted you and they love you and it's a family atmosphere up here, so I really enjoy being called that because it shows that the guys respect me and they know I can play the game.

CF.C: If you could choose any musical instrument to play which one would you choose?

Collins: Woo, that's a tough question. I'd have to go with a guitar just so I could be a little more like Jack Black because he's kind of a role model for me. He's just a triple threat kind of person. He's a comedian, an actor, and a musician and he is just an all around entertaining person.

CF.C: You have played a lot of positions for the Cougs (LB, TE, FB, ST). Is there another position you would love to ask the coaches to let you play?

Collins: You know, next spring I am going to ask them if I can back up Alex (Brink) and play quarterback, because I figure if I could end my career at that spot it would be a lot of fun …. I'm just playin'! No, I am happy with tight end right now but if I could play linebacker for a little bit next year, it would be a goal of mine.

CF.C: What's the scariest thing that ever happened to you as a kid?

Collins: I got stuck under a raft when I was river rafting for a while and I almost drowned, so that was pretty scary.

CF.C: When did you really start to think you could play college football?

Collins: When everyone told me I was too short to play basketball. In high school, basketball was always my first love, and if I would have had a future there I would have probably chosen that. But, everyone told me I had a future in football my freshman year because I could hit and I was a little athletic. So not until my freshman year of high school, that was my first year of football.



CF.C: Who was the biggest role model for you as a kid?

Collins: I'd have to say both my parents. My dad is everything in a man I would want to be. He's a man of God, he's very successful, and he is very disciplined and my mom is the sweetest women in the world and has nurtured me through everything that has happened in my life. So I'd have to give them both, hand in hand, the best role models.

CF.C: What things can you think of that you quit, or regret doing, in your youth?

Collins: I got in trouble for a lot of things as a kid that I regret doing, but things that I quit doing that I wished I hadn't ... music. Growing up I played a couple of little instruments and I would have liked to continue doing those. You know, be a little more well rounded.

CF.C: What is your favorite thing about living and going to school in Pullman?

Collins: The people. You know every day you meet somebody, they're a Cougar, they're a friend, they're family and it's not like growing up in L.A or Orange County where people are always in a hurry. It's kind of amazing to live in Pullman because it's a college town but also a family town. Everybody that comes here always says the same thing when they leave -- that they thought they where accepted and were part of the family here.

Jed Collins player profile

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hayden Eller, 13, is an eighth grader in Chelan, Wash., where he plays quarterback and safety for the fightin' Pirates of Chelan Middle School. His addiction to crimson and gray started four years ago when he attended his first game at Martin Stadium, a Cougar win over Idaho. His father, Jeff, is a 1985 WSU graduate. Hayden has named his dog Butch, and currently is working to turn his little brother and mom.


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