Playing at a talented football high school like Detroit Jesuit, tailback Elijah Collins had plenty of upperclassmen he could look to for guidance and to serve as a motivator.
In his eyes, former safety Scott Nelson was a perfect person to latch on to.
“He taught me a lot,” Collins said. “Coming in having played only one year of varsity football, he helped me adjust to a lot of things. He made things easier so I wouldn’t have to think as much. I could just go play.”
Nelson’s mentorship evidently made an impact with the 6-1, 190-pound tailback. Rushing for over 1,000 yards and 19 touchdowns this past season, Collins has picked up more than a dozen offers, including one from Nelson’s future school – the University of Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin has been talking to me since the beginning of my junior season,” Collins said. “After my first couple games they came in to talk to Scott and then talked to me. Ever since then we’ve been talking back and forth and exchanging conversations.
“I like that they run the ball pretty well and do it efficiently. The tailback is getting enough touches to where he’s able to showcase his talents and what he can do at the tailback position.”
Collins describes himself as a “do-it-all” tailback, saying he fits in well with the kind of running backs the Badgers have been recruiting in the 2018 class.
“If you need me to run it up the middle or more to the outside, or get around guys, I can get it done,” he said. “I can be featured in the passing game, so if you need me to catch it out of the backfield or line me up in the slot position, I can still make plays.”
Saying he has interest in all the schools that have offered him, Collins said he’s hoping to visit Madison for the first time this spring.