June 20, 2013

Collins talks up UNC to fellow recruits

2014 UNC commit Cayson Collins continues to feel right at home at North Carolina.

The Charlotte area linebacker participated in Fedora's Freak Show this past weekend and was just one of many participants that put on a fun performance in front of friends and family.

While some players were running around trying to impress the coaches with thoughts of whether the Tar Heels are the right school for them, Collins flew through the drills knowing full well that in a little over a year the field he was running drills through
Saturday night would one day be his home for college game days.

"For me it was just a chance to go out there and see what I could do. My main goal for going was to show the coaches everything that I can do and absorb the information they were giving me about how they want me to do certain things," said Collins. "With Coach Ron West, I just wanted to learn how they want the linebackers to play so that I can take that information and be prepared for when I get there."

Collins was one of several future Tar Heels that had already committed to UNC before taking the field Saturday night.

Joining him were Robert Dinkins, Tyler Powell, Caleb Samuel and Brandon Fritts. In attendance but not participating was Cameron Albright who would set of a celebration amongst the UNC coaching staff when he committed at the end of the event while everyone was cooling off.

Collins has a close bond with Dinkins having known each other for a while and both being from Charlotte and their friendship was pretty evident to onlookers who saw the future teammates.

"That's one of my closest friends. I actually stayed with him the night before the Freak Show," said Collins. "We spent the night together and then rolled up to the Freak Show together. Our parents are pretty close."

When asked if Collins and Dinkins might have been whispering some flattering words about their future school into the ears of the uncommitted players while sitting in the drills, Collins didn't hesitate with his reply.

"Yes sir. Couple of other guys that were at the camp that were doing good throughout the drills, if they had offers then I told them they should strongly consider the school. I don't want to force that on them, I want it to be there decision," said Collins. "But I feel like it's a great school, so I mean if it would be something that would benefit them then it should work."

Collins' commitment to UNC isn't likely to waver over the next few months as signing day draws closer. While some verbal commitments have been known to fluctuate as the days go by and schools keep calling, Collins says that his will remain strong and true.

In fact, he was seen singing along to the UNC alma mater as it played in conjunction with a highlight package that played on the jumbotron.

"I took it upon myself to learn it. I didn't want to be one of the freshmen coming in that didn't know the alma mater," said Collins. "It's been interesting. Schools are still pursuing me and I'm respectfully saying no to them. I'm still working hard. I visit the school (UNC) as much as I can. The more I visit the more I feel at home. It feels like home for me so I feel like committing so early was a positive move for me especially with the way everything has played out."

Like many onlookers, Collins took the opportunity to check out how some of the other players in the camp session were performing. He took some mental notes on one particular player who he'll be seeing during the upcoming high school football season.

"I looked at Bentley Spain. My school plays him this year. So I was looking at him as an opponent and then again as a teammate. Or a possible teammate. He has really good footwork for his size," said Collins. "I was looking at the other offensive lineman that committed Caleb Samuel. He was very athletic to be that big. Overall it was pretty cool to see everybody out there working hard."

One of the more lasting impressions people take away from the current crop of UNC coaches is their energetic style of doing things. That impression is usually left on the recruits who interact with them and the now famous dodge ball game that ended Fedora's Freak Show was the latest example of why Collins enjoys being around his future coaches.

"That was fun. They have an event every time we come up there. With the Carolina coaches it's always something new and I like that, just the excitement that they bring," said Collins. "I did pretty well. My team didn't make it to the second round but I did pretty well. I wish we could have done better but you know that's just the competitor in me."

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