BASTROP — Alfred Collins is the best football prospect to grace the young hallways of Bastrop Cedar Creek High School. The four-star defensive end is ranked No. 22 on the Fabulous 55. He’s considered the 11th-best player at his position in the entire country, per the 247Sports composite rankings. The 6-6, 260-pound prospect holds 15 offers. His stature as a recruit isn’t changing his demeanor.
“I wouldn’t have believed I’d get this attention as a football player as a kid. I thought I was going to be a basketball player until I started getting recruiting attention as a sophomore,” Collins said. “I knew it was time to concentrate on football.”
Cedar Creek head coach Jon Edwards knew Collins was talented. He also knew Collins was a basketball player still easing into football when the future four-star defensive end arrived on campus as a freshman. Edwards’ idea was to ease Collins into playing offensive line or tight end after a year on defense. Collins’ success changed the plan.
“He just dominated, so we’d be bad coaches if we took him away from that position,” Edwards said of his understudy. “He’s handling the process amazing. You would never know he’s getting all of this attention. It’s refreshing to see a young man handle his business with humility.”
Collins is still maturing as a football player. He grew up loving basketball and spent most of his prep career alternating sports. Cedar Creek’s lack of athletic participants for a Class 5A program almost demands athletes like Collins to play multiple sports. The only negative is the lack of time he’s spent concentrating on the weight room.
“He’s a puppy,” Edwards said. “He hasn’t gone through a full offseason yet because he plays other sports. Once they get him into the weight room and at the food table, he’s going to be a beast. He’s grown an inch and added 10 pounds since the start of his junior season. He could weigh 300 pounds after his first year in college.”
Collins wants to play end. He mentioned Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and LSU among his favorite schools. He plans on taking his official visits and wait until after his senior season to pick a school. That decision bucks the recent trend of top prospects committing early. Half of the Fabulous 55 is already committed by mid-May.
“People told me to enjoy it, and that’s what I’m going to do. You only get to go through this process once,” Collins said. “I can only pick one. They’re all great schools.”
Collins is interested in rival schools, though he sees similarities between programs like Texas, A&M and Oklahoma.
“They’re close. The atmosphere, facilities, and education are all great, so it becomes about selling your school. They are similarities despite the rivalries,” he said. “It’s pretty even. It’ll take spending more time with the coaches and players throughout the process. See how they coach, get to know the players. The personnel also matters because I want to play.”
Collins arrived on the recruiting scene following a strong sophomore campaign that ended with 75 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles. Fourteen of those tackles were behind the line of scrimmage. He followed that up with a district defensive MVP season as a junior, piling up 92 tackles and six sacks with 25 tackles for loss.
“It feels good to be back on the field and contributing to the team,” Collins said about spring practice. “I need to get stronger and quicker.”
Texas has yet to gain a commitment from a defensive prospect in the 2020 class.