Collins to serve internship with Vikings

Earnest Collins, Jr., the first-year head football coach at Alcorn State, has accepted an internship with the Vikings over the next couple weeks during team OTAs.

The Vikings are providing an internship opportunity for newly appointed Alcorn State head coach Earnest Collins, Jr., scheduled to run from June 2 through June 12.

On receiving the internship, Collins stated that “he is happy to receive this great opportunity,” according to a story on the college team’s official website.

During his time in Minnesota, Collins plans to shadow head coach Brad Childress, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, and special teams coordinator Brian Murphy.

Frazier, who played his college football before a successful playing career with the Chicago Bears, was a standout at Alcorn State.

Collins is entering his first season as the head coach at ASU. Last year he served as defensive coordinator/associate head coach for the Braves.

Prior to joining the Braves’ staff, Collins spent a year coaching the secondary for the University of Central Florida under former Vikings’ defensive coordinator George O’Leary, where the Knights ranked third in the Conference-USA defensive statistics.

Collins began his collegiate coaching career at Northwest Missouri State University as a secondary/assistant special teams coach from 1996-99. During those three seasons with the Bearcats, they won two NCAA Division II National Champions (1998, 1999). After leaving Northwest Missouri, Collins returned to his alma mater, the University of Northern Colorado as the coordinator-secondary/special teams, strength and conditioning and film during 1999-2003. While there he helped shaped a defense that was ranked nationally from 2000-2003.

He became a part of the Kansas Jayhawks coaching staff from 2003-06, serving as special teams and cornerbacks coach, where he coached Vikings’ cornerback Charles Gordon.

“Earnest is an enthusiastic teacher of fundamentals,” KU head coch Mark Mangino said. “He helped develop our cornerback position, which is crucial to our scheme.”

He organized the “Character First” and “Mentors” program with the Jayhawks, and the team’s defense was ranked third in the Big 12, and 20th in the nation.

Collins played football at the University of Northern Colorado (1991-94) as a defensive back and punt returner. He earned All-North Central Conference honors following his senior year. He currently holds the Northern Colorado records for career (967) and season (497) punt return yards.

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