Kansas offensive tackle Anthony Collins entered the draft early after strong performances as a starter at right tackle his sophomore year and at left tackle his senior year. Learn more about the projected first-day pick in this exclusive interview with Scout.com's Ed Thompson.
Ed Thompson: I saw that you have a big family...
Anthony Collins: I have two brothers and five sisters.
Thompson: How did you survive living with a group of eight kids?
Collins: We're a real close family. My brother is in the army stationed in Korea and my other brother is teaching in Houston. We were all smart and all athletes, and the rest are from my dad. My mom just had me and my brother, but we're still a close-knit family. We still get along and we still love each other, so it isn't a problem at all.
Thompson: You only played one year of high school football. How did you manage to get an offer from Kansas with only one year of football under your belt?
Collins: A blessing in disguise, man. I wasn't even going to play football my senior year. The only reason I played is because the family I lived with thought it was a good idea to play football because of the problems with basketball. It was a blessing. I did real well at defensive end, and then I got a scholarship from Kansas, and I'm in the draft now.
Thompson: Sophomore year you started at right tackle, junior year at left tackle. Talk about playing both positions and what you like about it.
Collins: I love playing both positions. I'm good at the right side and I'm good at the left side. I love the left side because it comes with more responsibilities. It wasn't a hard change at all. The right side came when I was a sophomore because there was a veteran playing the left side. Then Coach Mangino came to me and said he needed me on the left side that year and we went 12-1.
Thompson: You only missed one game due to an injury during your career, is that right?
Collins: Yes sir. I got injured the week of the Oklahoma State game and I played the whole game at 50 percent. And then Coach Mangino wanted me to rest my ankle for the Iowa State game. And then I played the Missouri game at about 65 percent.
Anthony Collins battles Virginia Tech's Chris Ellis during the Fed Ex Orange Bowl game.
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Collins: All the scouts loved that I fought through it and that I knew what the difference was between being injured and hurt. I told them I'd play through anything, it doesn't matter.
Thompson: When you made your decision to come out early, I know you filed paperwork for a preliminary grade from the league. What grade did they give you that helped convince you to move forward?
Collins: The lower second round.
Thompson: You've become very well known for your great attitude out there on the field and your touchdown celebrations. Talk a little bit about that.
Collins: Oh man, I was just so excited that we were getting to the end-zone with all of those great offensive players we had. And I also knew I could get to the bench fast and drink my Gatorade I loved to drink [laughs]. I wanted to be the first one down there to congratulate them and it was real fun.
Thompson: So part of it is so you can get back to your Gatorade. Is there a sponsorship in the future for you?
Collins: Well, at least I hope so! .
Thompson: When you're playing in the trenches, would you say it's your aggressive nature more than the technique that is helping you to be so successful?
Collins: Yes sir, without a doubt. I just wanted it more. Coach Reagan knew that I was a leader on and off the field and he put me on the left side and showed me everything I know from the offensive line position. He knew the type of stuff I was capable of and he taught me the technique. It was a short period of time that I learned it, and basically I just wanted it more. I was really aggressive, and no one can get past me.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.
Patriots Player Interest / Visitor List