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He is big, he is hard to bring down, and he is coming off a three-touchdown performance that moved Miami Monsignor Pace out to a 5-0 record and is giving them a chance once again to contend for the Class 3A state championship. Like a train on schedule, Monsignor Pace running back Conredge Collins keeps chugging away on the football field, and that mentality has put his recruiting on the backburner for the time being.
“(Recruiting) is good,” the 6-0, 220-pound back said. “It is a process and you have to go through it. You just have to keep your focus not on the recruiting right now, but on playing football right now. I just try to stay focused on playing football, try to stay focused on school and trying to get us to another state championship.”
While his mind is currently on finishing out his senior year, Collins hasn’t completely shut out recruiting and he believes he has his list down to five teams.
“Miami, Florida State, Florida, N.C. State and Ohio State,” Collins said, “that is probably where I am going to end up taking all my visits to.
“All the teams that I have chosen they are all winning teams – that is one big reason why I like them. All the teams actually produce big backs over six feet and two hundred pounds. Another reason why I chose these schools is because they are not afraid to play the young guys early – that would be a big reason too.”
Collins might not have to look outside of the state of Florida to find his school of choice, but is considering out-of-state options and added that he has no clear-cut favorite right now. Here’s what he had to say about the Big Three in Florida:
Miami: “They have good prestige. They are a winning team”
Florida State: “They also produce big backs as you saw with Greg Jones there last year.”
Florida: “They had Fred Taylor and some of the old guys were big. They run the ball a lot and produce big backs in the NFL.”
Collins has not scheduled any official visits and will probably wait until the end of the season before he does that. Collins has only been to Miami for unofficial game visits, but that is because his team practices on Saturday. He said he would try to make it to a UF or FSU game before the season ends.
UF defensive line coach Red Anderson calls Collins on a bi-weekly basis, and the conversations usually have very little to do with recruiting.
“He is just checking in to see how I am doing and making sure everything is OK,” Collins said. “He is laid back. He is just very considerate. He tries to know you more than trying to recruit you. He and (UF head) coach (Ron) Zook came down and we talked for a little while. So he just tries to get to know you and just make sure everything is all right with you.”
Collins is the son of former New England Patriot Tony Collins. The elder Collins, who is the running backs coach at Monsignor Pace this season, uses his past experiences on the recruiting trail to steer his son in the right direction.
“He is telling me to be patient, just wait, see all my opportunities and take all my visits because most people when they commit, they just go to the school they committed to,” Collins said, “but they don’t know about the places they could have visited and that could have been a better place for them.”
Collins carries a 2.8 GPA in the classroom and scored a 770 on the SAT, but is taking the SAT again. Football is a huge part of Collins’ life, but he believes his recruiting decision will come down to academics.
“Academic-wise you want to go to a school that you are going to feel secure at where you know that they are going to worry about your academics more than your football because football is just a sport, and your education is forever,” he said. “I also am looking for what is going to benefit me the most, where I am going to feel comfortable at and where I am going to get the most support at, so that is where I am probably going to end up.”
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