Imminent Decision?

Four-star South Plantation (Fla.) HS running back and Miami verbal commit Alex Collins left enthralled with the campus, the program and the upcoming facilities of the University of Wisconsin. Was it enough to switch his commitment?

MADISON - It wasn't the typical Florida weather Plantation running back and Miami commit Alex Collins was used to, but the cool weather did nothing to dampen his visit or further complicate his recruitment.

Making his first visit to Wisconsin, Collins – 5-11, 205 pounds - raved about how beautiful the city and campus was, how impressive the people were and, most surprising, how he didn't mind the 40 degree weather for Saturday's spring game.

"First time ever being on a plane and going to see Wisconsin, the first site I get is seeing it from above," Collins told Badger Nation. "Seeing the city in the middle of the great lakes, it was beautiful."

It was also important to see the impact of Wisconsin's running game. With the Badgers looking to take only one running back per recruiting cycle, Collins – a four-star recruit ranked the No.28 back in the country by Scout.com – saw redshirt freshman Melvin Gordon rush for over 150 yards. He also built his relationship with head coach Bret Bielema, running back coach Thomas Hammock and recruiting contact Charlie Partridge.

"It was a big deal because it was the most important thing to build that relationship," said Collins. "I want to see myself playing with these guys, and it was basically me talking with the head coach, the coaching staff and getting to know a little bit about each one of them personally."

Collins also spent time talking with the players who potentially could be his future teammate. One of those players is freshman cornerback Hugs Etienne, who was Collins' teammate last season at South Plantation HS.

"It was nice to get familiar with everyone's faces and Hugs has been telling me a lot of good things about the school," said Collins. "He said the weather was hard at first, but it wasn't a big deal after the first week."

Spending time with the coaching staff, Collins got a tour of the campus, the program and got a sneak peak at the new facilities that will be completed by the time the Class of 2013 steps on to campus.

"The facilities are being done and relocated," Collins said. "It's going to be done in 2013 and it's going to be awesome. I have never seen that type of equipment before and to have it in place by the time I go to college is a good thing to know. I wouldn't have to use a backup weight room. It's an amazing layout."

The new facility is a perfect fit for Collins, a weightlifting junkie who says he is always lifting to try and get better. Weighing in at 185 pounds his sophomore year on the junior varsity level, Collins approached the summer before his junior year looking to add strength and muscle to compliment his already above average speed and vision.

The results of his summer work outs were 20 added pounds and being named Player of the Year for Broward County by the Sun-Sentinel after running for 1,786 yards and 27 TDs. His next goal – make those numbers a memory.

"I always want to work out harder than my competition and shatter those numbers," said Collins. "That (weight gain) was a big jump for me that came from just working out. I still have one more year, so I am planning on doing the same thing. I plan on growing a little bit, hopefully be about 6-0 and around 215 going into college because that's the size of most college backs. I feel like if I get to that point, I'll be ready to go and step up to the next level to be a playmaker."

Having been committed to Miami since January 15, Collins admits to having an open relationship with the Miami coaching staff, admitting to them when he committed that he was still going to look at other schools and take his visits.

It's a reason the Hurricanes have been supportive and why the Badgers have been persistent.

"The Wisconsin coaches know that I am committed to Miami, and they basically laid it on the table for me," Collins said. "If I was to come there, they feel that I have the talent and the potential to be an every down back for them. They told me about the academics program, the athletic program, the area and how everything works. They don't want to pressure me to decommit or anything, but they want me to make my decision based on if I can see myself there."

In order to decipher if that's true or not, Collins plans to makes to final decision sometime during his senior year.

"I want to involve my mom in my recruiting process and so far, she's only seen Miami and South Florida," said Collins. "She hasn't seen Wisconsin, Florida State or any other school, so it's hard for her to compare like I am comparing."


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