CEDAR CREEK — When it comes to reveal parties, the rules are simple.
Pink is for girls.
Blue is for boys.
Orange is for Longhorns?
With a twist on the trick that’s usually used to announce whether a baby will be a boy or a girl, Bastrop Cedar Creek defensive end Alfred Collins signed with Texas on Wednesday. He made the big reveal during an afternoon signing ceremony in the Cedar Creek gymnasium. In front of family, teammates and the student body, Collins placed a Texas hat on his head after popping a balloon that contained orange powder.
“It just hit like this is really happening,” said Collins, who picked the Longhorns over Alabama and Oklahoma. “This is my next chapter in life and it’s time to go to work.”
Cedar Creek sent Collins off to Texas in style. During a 15-minute ceremony that was spearheaded by cheer coach Angela Love and track coach Naomi Kramer and MC’d by principal Bridgette Cornelius, Collins was celebrated by a pep band, cheerleaders and a highlight video. At one point, three cheerleaders ran around the gym with signs that displayed Collins’ three finalists. To little surprise, the Texas sign drew the loudest cheers.
And why not show Collins some love? Over the past three years, he’s compiled 253 tackles — 74 of which were for a loss — and 18 sacks. As a senior, he was a first-team choice on the American-Statesman’s All-Central Texas team.
“He’s going to be a leader in that locker room,” former Cedar Creek football coach Jon Edwards said. “He’ll set the example. The coaches won’t have to worry about him.”
Collins is labeled as a four-star prospect by 247Sports’ composite rankings. Among the 19 recruits in Texas’ 2020 recruiting class, the 6-5, 285-pound Collins had the third-highest rating.
He referred to his recruitment as a “dogfight,” but he informed UT coaches of his plans last week. Collins cited his official visit and the changing of schemes under new defensive coordinator Chris Ash as the reasons for his decision. His mother, Benita, also lauded a relationship that was forged with UT assistant Oscar Giles.
“When you turn the film on, this is a guy who just continues to get better,” UT coach Tom Herman said in a statement. “He’s so long, and strong, but extremely athletic.”
Benita Pollard-Collins played basketball at Texas from 1990-94 and was the team’s MVP her final year. Mom, though, said she backed off when it came for her son to make a decision. Collins’ parents even joked that they’d move if he had picked an out-of-state school.
“Her journey is her journey,” Collins said. “I’m not living in the past, it didn’t really phase my decision. Now I’m here, so that’s all that matters.”
With his recruitment behind him, Collins will turn his attention back to the basketball team he plays on. When he eventually arrives at Texas, he’ll join a defensive line that has crossed several names off its depth chart this offseason. When asked about his plans for his first year on campus, Collins said that “I just want to be developed mentally, physically, as a football player and as a young man.”