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Monday, February 4, 2013
Hogs make big splash with Collins

By Bob Przybylo

When taking over a program a couple of months before national signing day, a coach has a couple of clear objectives.

The first thing he has to do is convince his recruits to stay committed to the program. New Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has been able to do that.

The next thing is you have to go out and recruit the prospects you know will fit your system and try to make a splash.

Bielema did that in a major way Monday night with the commitment of ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation).

Collins, who is 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, is No. 57 in the ESPN 150 and No. 7 at running back. With all the running back success Bielema had during his time at Wisconsin, it’s not a shock Collins decided to become a Razorback.

And his addition can't be overstated. Collins made an official visit to Arkansas the last weekend of January and said he had a great time. The positive momentum continued to build last Tuesday during an in-home visit by Bielema and Arkansas assistants.

The Hogs tried to lure homegrown product Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock), but it appears he is set to be with Alabama.

Collins is the best consolation prize you can imagine. According to ESPN RecruitingNation scouts, Collins is a “multi-purpose running back with a great combination of quickness and speed.”

Collins originally committed to Miami last January, but he decommitted from the Hurricanes in November. He was one of Bielema’s top targets when Bielema was at Wisconsin and Bielema continued to pursue him when he took over at Arkansas in December.

And if Bielema wants to show why Arkansas fans should be so excited about his hiring, getting Collins a good example.

Collins is the highest-ranked Arkansas commit and joins tight end Hunter Henry (Little Rock, Ark./Pulaski Academy) as the Hogs’ two ESPN 150 pledges.