Welcome to the SEC, Jalen Collins.
The redshirt freshman defensive back came to LSU last year and learned behind two of the best cornerbacks in college football.
But now, one year later, with Morris Claiborne off to the NFL and Tyrann Mathieu recently dismissed from the team, Collins is in line to start at cornerback for the Tigers this season.
Heading into this year, the Tigers looked to be all set at cornerback with Mathieu and Tharold Simon. But as previously mentioned, Mathieu is no longer with the program following multiple failed substance-abuse tests.
As upsetting as Mathieu's dismissal is from a fan standpoint, it also opens the door for a talented kid like Collins to get out on the field and make an immediate impact.
Collins is from Olive Branch, Mississippi, and he was a highly sought after recruit for the Tigers in 2011. A member of Rivals 250, Collins was ranked nationally as the No. 22 cornerback in the country his senior year, according to rivals.com.
Collins has good speed for a defensive back, but his best attribute could very well be his size. At 6'2", 190 pounds, Collins has elite size for the defensive back position.
He has terrific range as well and long strides and great recovery speed, which is a very important aspect for any cornerback.
Most importantly, Collins has the reputation of being a good kid. It doesn't appear that he will be another head case who lets his teammates down, like Mathieu did this past month.
And as we know, LSU is known for producing some of the best defensive backs in the country over the past decade, like LaRon Landry, Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne, just to name a few.
We will see if Collins has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of those great defensive backs before him. But starting as a freshman for the No.1-ranked team in the nation is sure a good start for this young cornerback.
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