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Alex Collins wants to see if he can envision himself as a Hurricane on his official visit

Alex Collins has been down to the University of Miami at least a handful of times since the Hurricanes became the first major FBS program to offer him a scholarship last year when he was a junior.

But those unofficial visits down to Coral Gables, Collins explained Wednesday, were usually just trips to have fun. Friday, Collins will head back down to UM with a different mindset -- to see if playing for coach Al Golden and the Hurricanes is something he can really envision himself doing.

"When I went there before I didn't go there with the mindset of 'Can I be here for the next four years of my life? Is this a school I can see myself at? Am I comfortable here?,' " said Collins, rated the No. 1 all-purpose running back in the country by 247Sports.com.

"I always would go down there and was just sort of happy to be there, like 'This is a nice place. I'm happy to see the coaches, players.' I never went there to envision 'Is this my future?' "

Collins (5-11, 200) hopes to figure that out soon. Once committed to the Hurricanes for almost a year until he decided in November to pull back and look at all of his options, Collins said he's still mulling over a top five or six with three weeks to go before National Signing Day.

So why has it taken Collins so long to narrow things down? Well, as his coach Doug Gatewood explained Wednesday, "it's hard for Alex to tell anybody 'No.'"

"I like to make everyone happy," said Collins, who ran for 1,276 yards and 14 touchdowns in 11 games his senior season. "It's always hard to make everyone happy. But to tell coaches no thank you makes you feel like you're missing out on an opportunity.'

"My worst fear is that after I make my decision I say 'Dang I made a mistake.' That's why I've tried to take every visit so I don't have a doubt in my mind."

AUDIO OF COLLINS INTERVIEW WITH MANNY NAVARRO

Collins, who already visited Florida, Wisconsin and Florida State, did say 'No' to somebody on Wednesday: Louisville assistant coach Clint Hurtt, who visited South Plantation in hopes of trying to sway him to take a visit there before Signing Day.

As it stands, the Hurricanes are a bit fortunate to be getting a visit from Collins this weekend. The University of Texas, who began recruiting Collins after he went out to California and played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in California, was pushing for Collins to take a visit to Austin this weekend instead of Coral Gables. But in the end, Collins decided to stick with his original plan.

Next week, though, Collins will take his last official visit to Arkansas, where former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and assistant Charlie Partridge are trying hard to sway him.

Collins, who at one point had a top three of Miami, Florida State and Wisconsin, explained Wednesday how coaching changes at FSU and Wisconsin really shook up the big picture for him. At one point after de-committing from Miami, Florida State was Collins' leader. But once FSU running backs coach Eddie Gran left to become the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati last month, that changed everything.

"Now as it sit down and think about it I don't have a leader," Collins aid. "Everybody is level. Everybody has the same opportunity."

As far as the Hurricanes are concerned, Collins said looming NCAA sanctions are no longer a serious negative for him because the program decided to self-impose a second bowl ban and is "starting to punish themselves" so the NCAA's sanctions "shouldn't be as harsh."

Ultimately, Collins said, reaching a decision on where to sign will not be easy. He said he's already tried sitting down and making lists of positive factors and negative factors for each school. "It's hard to go by a list," Collins said.

He's studied rosters; which majors are available at each school (he wants to study either criminal justice, broadcasting or sports medicine) and is listening to his mother (who is pushing UM because she wants him close to home) and his coach (a Hurricanes fan who wants Collins to make the best decision for himself in the end). Collins said ultimately it will probably just come down to where he feels most comfortable.

In terms of personnel at the respective schools and the way these programs utilize running backs, Gatewood said Collins "wants to be at a program that more of a featured back than a back by committee."

"That's what he always liked at Wisconsin," Gatewood said. "Even though they used three running backs, Montee Ball was the running back. Whenever he needed a break, they brought James White in. Whereas Florida and Florida State use the back by committee approach. Arkansas has the same staff as Wisconsin so you assume they'll do the same thing as Wisconsin.

"Miami is hard to tell because depth was an issue. They really couldn't do back by committee because there wasn't enough of a committee. Florida isn't going to change. They're going to be the same as they've always been. Florida State is going to be same. Jimbo [Fisher] is not going to change because Eddie [Gran] left."

The Hurricanes are looking for a bigger back like Collins to compliment ACC Freshman of the Year Duke Johnson, who will have senior Eduardo Clements and redshirt freshman Danny Dillard backing him up in 2013. Collins, who maintains a friendship with Johnson on Facebook and talks to him occasionally, said Wednesday he feels like there is an opportunity to play at Miami and that he can "come in and perform and get playing time as a freshman."

Said Collins of Johnson: "I would hate to go down there and take his spot."

Gatewood, who has maintained long-term friendships with Bielema, Gran and Partridge through recruiting in his time as a coach in South Florida, said anyone who gets the idea he wants Collins to leave South Florida "is off base." He said he would love to see Collins play at Miami, but is staying out of the decision-making process.

"In the end, I'm just hoping to get an answer after these next two visits," Collins said. "It's not going to be easy. I'm going to have say 'No' to a few people on Feb. 6.'"

> Miami Northwestern safety Artie Burns, who received a visit at school Wednesday from LSU coach Les Miles, said he and fellow UM commitments Jamal Carter and Kevin Olsen will take officials visits to Miami this weekend to help solidify this year's signing class. 

"We got a few guys like Alex Collins, Denver Kirkland and others we want to make sure become Hurricanes," Burns said. "Coach Golden has a good thing going. We're turning things around."

Comments

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Awesome interview my dude!

Go get em Artie!!

Alex, those other schools go like 8 deep....dont forget this yrs class and last yrs redshirts. Clements is a 3rd downer. It would be collins and duke/......and u stay home...........no brainer

Collins & Duke, It's a no brainer.

After reading the attached article one would have to conclude that Alex Collins’ will become a Miami Hurricane due to a number of very good reasons, which is the logical and best choice for him and his family.

Unfortunately, words and terms such as “logical” and “best choice” are not often found in the same sentences where the recruiting of high school football players is involved.

What I miss most about college football is watching the kids play ball for schools they dreamed about playing for since they were toddlers. Kids who live and die with each win and loss, not kids who come to your favorite school because the coach showed him some love or he likes the color of the uniforms better than the other schools that recruited him or some other spur of the moment naïve reason. By the way, Duke Johnson is one of the exceptions to this new behavioral pattern.

come on down Alex and be a vital part of the Resurgence of the Hurricane program along with the rest of the young men. At Miami U will be a part of the most recognizable brand of college football in the United States and can go down in history as one of the greats that each and every weekend on NFL pregame position announcements gets to say that you came from the one and only U, and everybody knows that the truley great players come from the U.

Alex as you walk on the Campus at the 'U' just imagine yourself a 'Cane..

That new Football Facility can have your stamp on it along with Duke as the BUILDERS of the resurgence of the 'Canes. Just imagine.

We have done it before...look at the NFL playoff games..Canes are there.. and I mean Superstars..Aim for the Heights and with the Process and Program in place you can get there..

Look at the year you could have rotating with Duke, and know that you brought back the Glory days to the 'U'.

Travel a little, look a little, and check out the others...but there is nothing like a 5 Championship program waiting for you..close to home.. and the clincher is all your family can see you grow and progress as an Atlhete and a Man in a Program that all 'Canes know will return to where it should be.

Great Coaches, Great Facilities, and the Greatest Legacy.
Become a 'Cane at the 'U', it will be a Dream come true.
The'U' will be the 'U'

*complement

Alex,

You seem like a very level-headed young man, and one with a mom who would love to see you play close to home.

Sounds like any program would be fortunate to have a young person of character like yourself.

I hope the visit goes great and that you choose UM. Great school, academics, coaching and a very special environment.

Best wishes for the future.

Nobody cares if you're glad shannon is gone, the question is, what makes you happy that coach goldie is here, he's 13 & 11 in his first 2 years, only 2 games better than shannon, most are just wondering why most of you are acting like the program is in way better shape than when shannon was here. I'm not rooting against goldie, so before some clown comes on and say that, all i'm saying is, goldie hasn't earned his title as UM coach. Him staying even though the sanctions came, ok, that's nothing impressive to me, that's job security. Several coaches would've lined up to take this job, sanctions and all.

It's just that, you're not going to get me to believe in a guy when i know what i see. goldie has potential to be a real solid headcoach, until that switch is turned on though, and it hasn't yet, we'll get players that can help us for sure, but a defense sitting at 117th after year 2, is not impressive. Self inflicted depth issues, not impressive either. The players/athletes will come in, will they be utilized aggressively or passively.

oach OH-NO doesn't coach with heart and for all the intensity talk i heard about him as a player and as a oach, i see none of that when he's coaching on the sidelines. i need to see someone who looks like they believe in their own calls. Anyway, goldie is well organized, has a plan an is selling a vision and believes in that vision. He see's him and his boy in that vision. In reality though, either he'll have to dump his boy or his boy will look for another job, but the weak links have to start being weeded out on this coaching staff.

I'm curious to see how the receivers are going to play this year. george mcdonald was a good receivers coach, this year, i don't recall seeing one receiver get called for holding while blocking down field. Yeah we had drops, but will percy pringle be a good receiver's coach is the question. We all know mcdonald knew what he was teaching and he knew when to get on the players and help to bring the best out of them.

Until goldie wins a national championship in some shape or form at UM he'll be considered an outsider by me. And since his playing days are over with, he can only do it one way, and that's as a headcoach, get to work goldie.

He's studied rosters; which majors are available at each school (he wants to study either criminal justice, broadcasting or sports medicine) and is listening to his mother (who is pushing UM because she wants him close to home) and his coach (a Hurricanes fan who wants Collins to make the best decision for himself in the end)

All 3 majors are offered at Miami...His M0M wants him at UM and his coach is a UM faithful..Plus we need another strong back to share 40% of carries (about 15 per game)..


UM baby..UM...:-)

Arkansas only has one returning running back who saw any playing time last year.. If Collins wants to be the face of a team he will go to the University of Arkansas.. if he can be the reason the Razorbacks beat Alabama and LSU in a few seasons he will most likely be looking at Heisman chances.. Fact is Arkansas DESPERATELY needs a guy like collins to become the face of the offense and "THE GUY", I doubt he will find that anywhere else - Suprisingly Altee Tennpenny (Alabama RB Commit) out of Arkansas could have the same situation if he came here because Alabama is so damn deep in the RB position he doesnt really stand a Chance - - any high caliber running back in the nation is sittin on a gold mine if they sign with the Razorbacks bc in a few years Coach B will have recruited some meat to block for him and will have decent backups to give him a break - - just saying if Collins wants to be a star - A Darren Mcfadden or Monte Ball.. He will choose Arkansas and become the face of the Hogs for the next three years

Calvin,

Fair analysis. The next few years will tell the story.
See you at Sun Life...

Alex, there are about 200 NFL players left in the playoffs this week for the Super Bowl. Eight are Canes, baby. Process that stat: Nuf said.

Alex- I agree with Glenn- You are a cane in your heart and in your blood. we can tell. Going up to obscure places like Austin, Wisconsin, Arkansas, even Gainesville- youll be an outsider. Here you at home, bro.

It doesnt hurt thatUM is a top 50 university in the country and very "international"

It doesnt hurt that Um is still the top NFL supplier in all of cfb- look it up

It doesnt hurt that at the U you will get exposure, and an immediate connection with "the family" whcih includes th elikes of Gore, Mcgahee, Ray ray, Ed reed, Reggie wayne, Hester, and others.

Bring it./ close it up, young man. The U is the U. THAT will never change. Recall Edgerrin james was a freshman when all of the NCAA sanctions hit hard. Whre did he end up?

I'll tell you:

In the record books- and he will be in the hall of fame.

Alex,
U will have more opportunities at the U. Coach golden has the u on the right track. If u come to miami u will look back and have no regrets. U can be part of history when miami wins the first ACC TITLE!!!!

Hey Calvin your right nothing has been proven yet except that AG is loyal to UM but we as fans need to do our part also such as being in the stands and trying to convince others to be there to .I have heard lots of top recruits saying they want to play in a bigtime game atmosphere. Go Canes

Im still waiting on the 4 or 5 star DT and DE to sign. GIve me some 4 or 5 star LB, we always have decent talent of the OL, RB and WR. Its the big dudes we need

Don't be surprised if Arkansas is the winner for Collins, last visit, a couple of ex Miami coaches, first rate facilities and the SEC. Hope the Canes get him, lets see.

don't speculate on anything these kids say now....its all about the sanctions no matter what they say in public.....its all about national signing day...there will be a lot of surprises....

don't think UM gets what they are after....the competition is too tough now and the coaches are talking UM down in a big way...I wouldn't get our hopes up....good point Fernando, also fsu is in the mix...don't misinterpret his statement's...fsu has the best criminal justice courses in florida...that's his interest

Calvin - you are a pathetic Shannon apologist. If he was so good, then why has the entire div I & II football world passed on him - hardly an interview. Can't you accept the fact that he was a great and loyal Cane but at best a solid position coach. Get over it - it isn't always about color.

Nice. With an attitude like A. Burns this thing may get turned around after all.

Of course we would love for Alex to help bring back Championship caliber football to his city! But our concerns and wishes shold be that Bryant, Bostwick and Matt Thomas signs. Without them out resurgence will be severely weakened! What we need to do as fans is show all kinds of support and love to those three. So lets start a campaign to show them how much we want them here.

Number of Shannon recruits to be drafted day one this April?

A staggering, overwhelming and oh so telling ZERO.

Calvin is just pissed because he now looks stupid wearing his Randy Shannon jammies.

Go Canes and welcome to the U Alex!


I agree wit Tampa cane let's tryna get these defensive guys in here we desperately need help up front an could some one please give me info on how to contact AG there's a kid by the name of QUINCY WILSON this kid is c/o 14 but he his by far the best db comin out in his class 6-2 198 4.45 this kids ceiling is non existent Golden an company haven't even offered him yet how could you not offer a kid who's father played for us just doesn't add up the kid is a beast combo of Sean Taylor antrel rolle an mike rumph... An he wants to be a cane but were not offering tragic this kid will play on Sundays it will just hurt to see him adorn any color other than orng/grn... We do need your services tho Mr Collins... An you've gotta love Mr Burns hope he can convince Thomas an company to sign with us... # plz offer Mr Wilson AG before he shuns us entirely.... Hogfan go post on a hogs page thnx

Let's rock n roll Collins! You know deep down inside you wanna be a Cane bro. We could really use you. Duke Johnson, Alex Collins, Ray Lewis.Jr, Danny Dillard 3rd down back and Goal line. That right there is a hellafide combo. Welcome to the U!!!!!!!!

Collins and Duke would be a devastating one-two punch. Come on to UM Alex!

Hey pb not taking up for RS but you gotta remember we're only losing 2 guys this year, and Brandon McGee will most likely get drafted. Also last year we had 13 guys go pro,and I think 11 of them got signed or drafted and they were ALL RS boys. I know RS wasn't much of a talent developer, but he could recruit pretty well.

I can see it now, duke rips off an 80 yrd td, defense gets a three and out on the next possession, then collins rips of a 60 yarder for another TD. lololololol #CaneGang

Cola Cane -

13 guys going pro last year? I think your numbers are a little off. We used to have talent when we had multiple guys getting drafted in the first round. Lately they have been late round and undrafted FA's. That tells you all you need to know about the "talent" he was recruiting. Love Randy because he is Miami at heart, but I want to run a Billion Dollar company at heart and it isnt't going to happen. Just because you love something and are passionate about it does not make you the right person. Wish him all the best in the future!

SHANNON?

If SHANNON were any kind of coach, he would have been sought after when he got fired from UM.

NOT EVERYONE can be wrong about RS...that "lost look" on the sidelines is something I WILL NEVER, EVER MISS...that's for certain.

Apparently, he had no control over what was "going on" with his (it hurts to say this), "No. 1 recruiting class"....many of his star recruits were implicated in the Shapiro mess as well.

RS?

Who cares....I wish him the best of luck...but, why bring up RS...the guy couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag, PERIOD.

The differences between RS teams and what Golden is doing IS MILES APART - in favor of Golden!

It's a long way for your mom's and family to go to Arkansas or fsu for that matter. fsu just lost 5 coaches, they will soon begin to decline. UM, Alex, UM, play where mom can see you every Saturday.

Does anyone know anything about Danny Dillard? I know he's going to be in the backfield but just wondering what type of back he'll be and what are his strengths and weaknesses.

Big kid,power back. Like 6-2,6-3 220 ,4.6. If I remember correct can be a very effective short yardage back for us.personally I don't care in the least about Collins.kid runs soft,obviously is scared of competition and by getting him(a kid who isn't loyal to um)we already messed up our shot with a better back in Greg Bryant and it can mess us up next year with two far better backs that both love um in Sony Michel and dalvin cook.collins is a prima Donna and his soft nature isn't something we need or I think we'll get...

ALEX THINK ABOUT THIS WHEN YOU'RE MAKING YOUR CHOICE. IF YOU GO FAR AWAY FROM HOME EVEN TO GAINESVILLE OR TALLY AT SOME POINT YOU WILL GET HOMESICK!! IT HAPPENS TO EVERY FOOTBALL FRESHMEN AWAY FROM HOME AND IT'S REALLY HARD WHEN OR IF YOU'RE NOT PLAYING LIKE YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD. YOU CAN AVOID ALL THIS BY SIMPLY STAYING AND PLAYING AT HOME. THIS MAKES IT EASIER FOR FAMILY AND THE SUPPORT WILL HELP YOU IN YOUR DEVELOPMENT THE NEXT 4 YEARS. IF YOU GO TO UF GAINESVILLE IS A BORING TOWN(I'VE FROM THERE AND YOU WILL SOON FIND OUT THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EAST GAINESVILLE AND WEST!!! WHAT YOU SEE ON SATURDAYS ON TV AT THE SWAMP IS A DIFFERENT WORLD THAN THE REAL WORLD IN GAINESVILLE. TALLAHASSEE IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENT NOT AS BAD BUT NOT MUCH DIFFERENT. YOU ARE FROM MIAMI AND YOU KNOW MIAMI IS WORLDS APART FROM UF OR FSU. SO TAKE THOSE THINGS UNDER CONSIDERATION AND REALIZE THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME.
GO CANES ACC CHAMPS 2013!!!

Cola Cane -- There are actually 15 players from last year with current NFL contracts. Yet, all these then UM ballers lost 5 close winnable to finish with an underwhelming 6-6 record. Who's to blame?

Coach Swazey? Coach Golden? The future NFLers? Coach D'Onofrio? Or Manny?

RB's are a dime a dozen and are only as good as their O-Line. Do I hope we get Collins "Well Hell Yeah" but our biggest problem is on defense and as of right now wheres the "BEEF". If we don't get Bryant or Bostwick or both, to help fortify that levee break in the middle, don't expect it to be much better next year. The way we rush the QB, you'd swear he had a no contact jersy on.

Randy Shannon is, was and always will be a Miami Hurricane. His tenure as the Canes head coach was not what he envisioned nor what all of us Cane fans had hoped for. But that doesn’t change the fact that he played a significant role in the great legacy of our football program that has made most all of us proud to be a Miami Hurricane.

That said, allowing yourself to get caught up in a debate about Randy’s head coaching tenure with Calvin and Jim Gallo accomplishes nothing other than degrading a fellow Cane, Randy Shannon, and I believe that is exactly what they are trying to get you to do.

If you want to play in the NFL, go the U.

1.) Miami has the most players in the NFL
2.) Miami has the most players playing this weekend, trying for the superbowl

http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/01/18/nfc-afc-championship-players-college/1845849/

It's close to home, your family can see you play and it happens to provide a top-notch education.

Nuff said.

Just make a decision kid and don't look back. You can't live your life worried about making a mistake...

We got a few guys like Alex Collins, Denver Kirkland and others we want to make sure become Hurricanes," Burns said. "Coach Golden has a good thing going. We're turning things around."

Good kid...thinks beyond himself

CALVIE I guess since you don't have enough respect to call Coach Golden by his name I won't call you by his. Don't compare Shannon to Golden as Randy dropped the bal by only recruiting select Dade and Broward schools. He vsomehow avoided Central and Miramar even though they were top 2 programs in state his last 2 years. I spoke to Randy on many occasions and exchanged emails with him and really liked him, he was his own worst enemy by not opening up and being more personable. I have been going to games since 1963 and will never show a coach the disrespect you bandwagon fans do.

This kid would be a nice pick up, but we need some stud D-tackles. Period.

Why can't we all get along please
We are a canes famley
What's done is done
Go Canes

Why can't we all get along please
We are a canes famley
What's done is done
Go Canes

When are they going to get the tackles they need? In the mean time this kid will be a definite plus in the near future.

Hope he comes but more worried about DTs and LBs.
If he doesn't come he is probably scared of competing vs DUKE and overrated. If he comes then he is a true gamer and "welcome home son".
These things have a way of taking care of themselves. Props to Artie Burns Olsen and Carter for sticking true to their hearts and making decisions in a mature and decisive way.Some of these kids are juicing their fame an feeding their ego. They even invened a new word,"decommit".

Listen to your mother. Or else you will be like JaCoby Brisket from UF. Mother wanted him to go to Da U and now he on transfer block. Mother always knows best!!!!

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