The commitment train made another stop today for UofL Football. This time the stop wasn’t very far from Cardinal Stadium as 3 Star CAL OL Austin Collins committed to his hometown Cards.
— Austin Collins (@austinc50) June 11, 2019
The 6’4 260 lbs Collins chose UofL over offers from Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, UAB, Toledo, and others per 247sports. He is the first local commit of the 2020 class.
At CAL, Collins is a two-way player, playing both OL and DL. However, it seems clear UofL wants him to join Dwayne Ledford’s Band of Brothers on the OL. He helped lead his team to the 2A State Title last season.
In reviewing Collins 2018 OL Hudl highlights, there is a lot to like about him. Collins is an athletic OL with quick feet; he’s exceptional at pulling and lead blocking on running plays. A very powerful and nasty blocker in the run game, Collins can also use his hands and footwork to pass block. Collins blocks until the whistle, playing with a high motor. At the snap, Collins has great get-off as he explodes either into a block or into a pull. Collins gets and maintains leverage in his blocks very well. He lined up a lot at OG in his highlights, but did have a few plays at tackle.
Now let’s delve a little deeper into his skills to get a better idea of what UofL is getting in Collins.
Collins is a very athletic for a big guy. He can move very quickly to get to wherever he needs to be on a particular play to make a block. His quickness makes him an effective puller and blocker in the run game. Not often guys his size are so fleet of foot.
Collins is very strong. Just watch the highlights yourself and you will see. He blasts defenders into the ground with impunity. More often than not, the defender is at the mercy of Collins will. A couple of plays he looks like he barely shoves a defender yet the defender goes flying to the ground. The scary thing for opponents is that Collins can likely get stronger.
Collins really shines on his highlights when run blocking. He is an absolute mauler! Collins is excellent at springing quickly out of his 3-point stance and engaging the defender. UofL seems to value players on both sides of the line that are able to really launch on the snap of the ball.
Once Collins get his hands on a defender, he drives his legs and, like a bulldozer, forces the defender several yards down the field until the play is well beyond the defenders ability to impede it or until the defender is in the dirt.
He shows his quick feet when asked to seal off a defender and create a running lane in his gap. On one play, Collins quickly adjusts his body to the right, forces the DL to the right, seals him off, and opens the hole in the b gap the RB runs through. He does all this while still maintaining leverage.
When Collins pulls, it must be a scary sight for whatever poor defender is in his path. He gains a head of steam while being totally under control. Once he gets to the hole, he identifies his block and then boom! He often engulfs the poor LB or DB and sends them to the earth. It’s doubly worse for them because of the momentum he has getting a running start.
Not many of Collins’ highlights are of him pass blocking, but there are a few. Collins shows good footwork, able to move his feet and keep the defender in front. He uses his hands and arms well to keep the defender from getting into his body and compromising the block. He has good pop too. By that I mean, the defender knocks the defender back, he doesn’t just push him.
His best pass blocking play was one where the defender goes to Collins’ left shoulder, trying to beat him through the b gap. Collins is able to move his feet and stop the move immediately. The defender immediately tries to spin back inside to the a gap, but Collins already has his hands on him and shuts it down before pushing him away. It was a great play that displayed his athleticism, strength, and quickness.
Collins gets leverage on his blocks and maintains it. This is why his highlights are full of plays where he’s driving defenders yards down the field and into the ground. He is able to stay low and drive which is because he has good knee bend. Defenders rarely stand him up. However, on the occasion that they do, he uses his strength to flat out outfight the defender and regain leverage.
High Motor and Nastiness
What I loved most about Collins is something that can’t be taught; that is his high motor and the nastiness with which he blocks. In a few highlights, Collins finishes a block, gets up and runs full speed downfield to find someone else to block. As mentioned numerous times above, once a block is engaged, Collins is constantly driving his legs and pushing. He never gives up a block til the play is well downfield or the whistle blows.
The nastiness comes in when he finishes the blocks. It’s pretty obvious Collins wants to finish every block by driving or throwing the defender to the ground. His goal is to obliterate whoever his assignment is and he does that a lot. Attitude and effort are the two things players have complete control over. Collins has a nasty attitude on the field and he is going 100 mph every play.
Austin Collins is the kind of OL Dwayne Ledford loves; a physically talented player with a nasty edge. Collins has the athleticism and size to possibly line up at OT, but he really shines at OG as a run blocking nightmare. The frame he has should allow Collins to put on some more weight and muscle. His ability to pull will work well in the run scheme Satterfield and Ledford will use. They can use him as a hulking tank of a lead blocker.
UofL’s offensive line is getting deeper and more talented with Austin Collins commitment. Scott Satterfield continues his hot recruiting June, as the 2020 class now has 8 commitments and is ranked 41st nationally per 247sports.