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Friday, January 11, 2013
Texas coaches visit ESPN 150 RB

By William Wilkerson

The Longhorns have jumped into the Alex Collins sweepstakes later than most, but the No. 57 player in the ESPN 150 is all for giving Texas a fair shot at winning his commitment.

New Longhorns running backs coach Larry Porter stopped by South Plantation High School in Plantation Fla., on Friday to speak with the No. 7 running back in the country. Everything went as well as it could, according to Collins.

“The visit went great,” he said. “Coach Porter came down and said they need a game-changer.

"He said that I am a dynamic back and have what it takes to be a game-changer.”

Collins is a remarkable story in that he didn’t start playing football until his junior season. But he quickly emerged as one of Florida’s top offensive players by rushing 227 times for 1,786 yards and 27 touchdowns and earning county player of the year honors.

He continued that success this season and earned interest from several of the area’s top programs. That included Miami, where he committed in January 2012, but then decommitted in November.

That opened the door to several other programs to try and work their magic. He has offers from Wisconsin, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Louisville, South Florida and Central Florida.

Texas’ interest came as a bit of a surprise, but Collins is giving the Longhorns their opportunity to impress, and also to explain why one of the nation’s top running backs should join a roster that already includes Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron.

“It doesn’t worry me at all [that Texas already has three running backs] because I’m not afraid of competition,” he said. “I feel I could come in with the right work ethic and earn my spot.”

Collins said that Porter wants him to come to Austin for an official visit. He’s not sure at this time if he’ll make it and will talk with his mother to figure it out.

He’s already taken visits to Wisconsin (Oct. 5), Florida State (Oct. 12) and Florida (Dec. 12). He has an official visit scheduled with Miami on Jan. 18.