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August 2014
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Future Was Bright For Injured Collins

Like everyone, I was disappointed to hear today that Cats freshman wide receiver Daryl Collins will miss this season after suffering a serious knee injury. Collins was among the first names you heard creating some buzz when the Cats’ newcomers reported to campus in June. It’s hard to know exactly what sort of impact he may have had this season but if you read between the lines – and that’s what it takes, since the coaches have made an effort to talk as little as possible about specific freshmen – it seemed that he was going to get a chance to factor in to the offense.

We haven’t had a chance to watch much practice this pre-season but the few times Joker has let the press inside, Collins has stuck out. Going off the eyeball test (and that’s all we can go off during these weeks of summer practice) Collins looked different than the typical UK wide receiver. He was small (listed at 5-foot-11, that may be generous) but explosive and shifty. The Cats have plenty of tall receivers, Collins looked like he could be something different, giving the offense a valuable new weapon that they may not have without him. He more than held his own in an “Oklahoma” drill where he lined up in a three point stance and tried to block a freshman defense back. The drill is used to measure toughness and it seemed that Collins had plenty of it.

What really stuck out about Collins is how naturally he caught the ball and his poise running routes. Joker has sang the praises of this year’s group of freshman receivers, pointing out that unlike many of the players before them at UK, these guys played the position in high school. There’s a certain polish that comes with a guy who arrives as a bona fide receiver, rather than a converted quarterback or with the always ubiquitous designation: “athlete.”

Collins of course was the guy who turned down a scholarship to play at in-state Alabama, where the Tide planned to gray shirt him, to come to UK.

Obviously the silver lining is that he suffered the injury before the season. He can redshirt and not lose a year of eligibility and begin the necessary treatment and rehab early. Here’s hoping he recovers quickly.

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