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February 04, 2013

Collins picks Arkansas over Canes

He's Arkansas bound.

Collins makes his choice on FoxSports South South Plantation five-star recruit Alex Collins, rated the No. 1 running back in the country according to 247Sports.com, broke the hearts of Hurricanes fans late Monday night when made his college choice known on FoxSports South's New College Football Show in Atlanta.

"I like the fact they run the ball," Collins said when asked why he picked Arkansas. "I personally know the coaches. I've been recruited by them for two years now. So I think I can trust them. I feel like they can lead me to where I want to be on the next level, academically and athletically. I feel like if I have a problem in school they'll provide that extra help to lift me."

Collins (5-11, 204) had been a key recruit for UM. The Hurricanes need to add a running back who can come in and provide depth as a true freshman behind ACC Freshman of the Year Duke Johnson.

Instead, Collins opted for Fayetteville and the Hogs, who addressed a huge need with just three scholarship running backs on the roster.

Arkansas became a contender for Collins when the Razorbacks hired Bret Bielema from Wisconsin in early December. Assistant coach Charlie Partridge, who was the lead recruiter for Collins at Wisconsin, followed Bielema to Arkansas and assumed those same responsibilities. Collins took his official visit to Arkansas on January 25th. Bielema hired former UM coach Randy Shannon to his staff.

Collins ran for 1,275 yards and 14 touchdowns on 155 carries as a senior and helped lead his team to a district title. As a junior he led Broward County in rushing with 1,640 yards and 24 touchdowns on 221 carries.

UM was the first school to offer Collins and he committed to the Canes back in Jan. 2012. He de-committed from Miami in November, but never ruled the Canes out. He took his official visit to UM on January 18th and raved about his experience rushing the court in the Canes win over Duke. But apparently it wasn't enough.

The Hurricanes remain in the running for Tottenville Staten Island, N.Y.'s Gus Edwards, considered the No. 1 fullback in the country by Rivals.com. Edwards (6-0, 215) visited UM this past weekend and is said to be down to the Seminoles and Hurricanes.

Late night with Alex Collins; plus a podcast with David Lake of meaningless recruiting predictions

Tonight's the night South Plantation blue-chip running back Alex Collins tells the world where he's headed to college.

The announcement will be made on FoxSports South around 10 p.m. Collins, deciding between Miami and Arkansas, flew up to Atlanta to be in studio for the announcement. 

> Booker T. Washington coach Tim "Ice" Harris said he thinks UM is once again in the mix for offensive lineman Denver Kirkland.

Here's all you need to know about the situation: Kirkland's parents want him to go to UM and he was favoring them before his offer was pulled and Miami has put it back on the table, leaving it in his shoes to decide what he wants to do. We'll find out Wednesday at around 9:20 a.m. what he wants to do. But the last time Kirkland or his family spoke it was either going to be Arkansas or Florida State.

> ESPN recruiting analyst analyst Corey Long said that unless the Canes address the defensive tackle position on Wednesday with real talent they will have failed to fill their biggest need on Signing Day. 

"They needed to get stronger on the defensive line and I don't think they've done that," Long said. "They could bring in a kid like Matthew Thomas and if there's nothing up front to stop the initial push he becomes irrelevant. I don't think of the defensive tackles they have right now on that roster are really good, just average if that. They needed big bodies. Giving up eight yards a run just is not good enough."

Even though the Hurricanes are ranked as having the 64th-best class by Rivals.com, 46th by Scout.com and 25th by 247Sports.com, if you break down their average stars per commitment they rank in 247Sports.com and 17th in both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

"It's a small class, but they've got some players," Long said. "[Defensive end Alquadin] Muhammad is a very good player. [Cornerback] Artie Burns has a lot of potential, athleticism, might go the Olympics. Kevin Olsen gives them a quarterback of the future. [Tight end Beau] Sandland is going to be a big time weapon and I like [defensive back] Jamal Carter. But after that, it's kind of blah. If they can close strong here and actually get some of these kids they obviously improve that. But defensive tackle was what they needed to address."

> And now meaningless recruiting predictions for you from InsideTheU's David Lake and yours truly.

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