Arkansas' Class Gets a Boost from 4-Star RB Alex Collins

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterFebruary 5, 2013

Arkansas commit Alex Collins / Photo:
Arkansas commit Alex Collins / Photo:

First-year Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema made a living at the University of Wisconsin churning out top-tier running backs. Montee Ball, James White, John Clay and PJ Hill all topped the 1,000-yard mark during Bielema's time in Madison.

But when he made the move to Fayetteville to take over the Arkansas Razorbacks, he found a backfield in turmoil.

Leading rushers Dennis Johnson and Knile Davis have moved on, leaving Bielema with big question to answer between now and the season opener on Aug. 31.

That questioned may have been answered on Monday night, when running back Alex Collins committed to the Razorbacks on Fox Sports South's New College Football Show: Next Class 2013.

The 4-star running back (according to composite index) from Plantation High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. chose the Hogs over Miami (Fla.).

He's a big pickup for Bielema and the Razorbacks staff.

Jonathan Williams will likely enter fall camp as the No. 1 back, but there's no doubt that Collins has what it takes to step in and find significant playing time from the moment toe meets leather this fall.

The 5'11", 204-pounder has great vision, is tough between the tackles and has enough burst to make the big play outside and run away from defenders.

While Collins' commitment is huge in terms of the new staff going into South Florida and getting a top-tier prospect, it's also one that the Hogs' class of 2013 desperately needed.

His commitment bumped the Hogs into the top 25 of the composite team rankings. That may not seem overly impressive since they're still ninth in the SEC, but any time a new staff can get into the top 25 and make at least one big-time statement on the recruiting trail, it's a good sign.

That's exactly what Collins' commitment is for Arkansas—a statement.

Bielema has made a concerted effort to surround himself with a staff that is familiar with the local landscape but capable of branching out and making Arkansas a regional program—especially in talent-rich states like Florida and Texas.

Collins will make an impact on the field at Arkansas, probably sooner rather than later. But he has already made a big-time impact just by committing to the program.

That's a really good sign for Bielema and the direction of the Arkansas football program.