April 24, 2011

Five-star DB likes Tide, Tigers

Rivals.com five-star Landon Collins has close to 10 offers from some of the top programs in the country, but it could be more if not for the fact that many believe it will be a two-horse race for his signature.

Alabama and LSU were the first schools to start recruiting him, and now the elite defensive back has the Crimson Tide and the Tigers on the top of his list.

"I like their coaching staffs and how they got to me quick," Collins said of the two SEC West foes. "They were really the first two colleges to come after me."

On Alabama: "They have one of the best defensive back coaches out there, so I would have the best chance to make it to the pros. The education at Alabama is top-notch."

On LSU: "It's close to my hometown. My people could come see me and watch my games. Their defensive back coaches are good, too. You have the top defensive back going into the draft, so when you see that, you know you've got good defensive back coaches there."

Even though it's a further drive, the Geismar, La. native has become familiar with Tuscaloosa after taking two trips to UA in the last year, including a visit for one of Alabama's junior days in February.

"The campus is beautiful," Collins said. "I love the campus. When I stepped on campus, the whole coaching staff and all of the players were telling me that I should commit and come to Alabama to be part of the Crimson Tide. It was cool."

Last fall, Collins visited Alabama for the Florida game and watched as the Crimson Tide dominated the Gators.

"It was amazing," Collins said. "The stadium was full. It was insane to see how big the stadium was and even with what they added on, it was still packed to capacity. The crowd was so loud, and you had to stand up the whole night. Even at halftime, you couldn't even sit down. It was great."

During his most recent trip to UA, Collins met with Crimson Tide head coach head coach Nick Saban and talked about where he would fit in if he came to Alabama.

"They want me to be a strong safety," Collins said. "They want me to be a big hitter who can come in and shoot the gaps on running plays, hit the running back at full speed. I'm very excited about playing that position."

The 6-foot, 200-pound five-star played all over for his defense at Dutchtown High School last year, recording 102 tackles, 15 for a loss, five interceptions and four forced fumbles.

He is well aware of the opportunity to play for Saban at Alabama and how much that could develop his game and prepare him for the next level.

"He's a winner," Collins said. "He's one of the best coaches at the defensive back position, so if you play for him, he's going to teach you everything you need to know. He also has the cards and numbers to call to see where you're going to go in the draft.

"He's a coach that's all about business. If you talk to him, he's going to be cool with you, but he's all about business. If you're not doing something right, he's going to push you to the limit until you do it right."

In addition to Alabama and LSU, Collins also has received interest from Florida, Miami and Tennessee.

He is scheduled to be in Tuscaloosa next weekend for a 7-on-7 tournament and plans to come back in the fall to take an official visit.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.

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