by Lee Brecheen
|Landon Collins – Dutchtown|
June 15, 2011 –The most gifted Defensive player in Louisiana going into the 2011 season is Landon Collins from Dutchtown High School. After watching over 400 games on tape and in person combined, Landon Collins to me was the most dominant and most gifted player on the football field for the 2012 class.
This kid is one of those rare players that I put up there with last year’s gifted bunch from Louisiana; namely, RB Terrance Magee from Franklinton, DT/DE Anthony Johnson from O.P. Walker, WR Jarvis Landry from Lutcher, and OT La’el Collins from Redemptorist who all signed with LSU for the upcoming 2011 season.
What makes Landon Collins stick out is the fear presence he puts in the heads of the opposing players after he hits them, and his big time closing speed play after play which puts the fear in an Offensive Coordinators mind before game time and during the game. I mention Landon as an Athlete as a compliment, because even though everyone lists him as a strong safety prospect, I think he could be an All American in college as a running back or even as a cornerback.
Landon is the first defensive back I’ve seen play in 20 years that weighs 210 pounds at 6-0 even, is legit tall, and has the hips of a big Defensive Back like a Patrick Peterson from LSU. This kid is so fluid when he runs that you would think he weighed 175 pounds.
Landon Collins ran a legit 10.5 in the 100 meters in the State 5A state track meet. I would like the readers to think about what I just said and then ponder this. How many kids do you know have run a 10.5 or below in the 100 meters in 5A in the State meet, that weighed over 200 pounds (201 pounds when they did it)? I could only think of one kid that ran it as fast, and that was Cecil Collins, who was 198 pounds when he did it. Most of the kids that run 10.5 or 10.4 in the 100 meters weigh in the 170 pound to 185 pound range or below. I asked Landon Collins in person at practice during this past spring and he said, “Lee, I weighed 201 pounds when I ran the state meet and during the season I will play at 210 to 215 pounds.” Ladies and Gentlemen, Landon Collins is a football player that runs track, not a track runner that plays football. He’s the best football player, I’ve ever seen in 20 years that also dominates track. Eddie Kinnison from Washington Marion was the closest I’ve ever seen, but he was more of a track guy that became a football player and he weighed only 175 pounds.
What will really confuse recruiters I predict after this coming season is Landon Collins will also play running back in 2011 for Dutchtown, and I think he will go over a 1,000 yards rushing at the end of the day in 2011. This would be the first year he shows colleges what he can do as a running back at 6-0, 210 to 215 pounds, running a legit 4.4/40. I don’t ever say someone runs a 4.4/40 hand timed, but this kid is rare. He will clock that and below in college one day. Landon might not ever leave the field in 2011 for Dutchtown on offense, defense, and special teams.
Landon has a 3.0 GPA in the Classroom and he’s eligible with an 18 ACT score. I also predict that Landon will be a LSU and Alabama battle until the end in recruiting. Tennessee and USC are his other favorites at this time he told me recently. Landon will play running back, strong safety, outside linebacker, punt return, and kickoff return for Dutchtown this year.
The more I watch Landon the more I think he could play Cornerback in college, even though everyone lists him as a Strong Safety. With that closing speed and hitting ability, he could be the next lock down cornerback one day from Louisiana barring an injury to have a shot at the first round one day in the NFL. Like I mentioned above, after this coming season some people might even say he’s the top running back in the country after watching him carry the ball this year coming up. I know many in Tiger Town would love to see him wear Purple & Gold and be the next Patrick Peterson type and team up with another future NFL player and former Dutchtown High School player, Eric Reid (6-2, 215 pounds).
I hope you enjoy the interview below with Landon Collins from Dutchtown High School. I will have more on Landon Collins and the Dutchtown Griffins in our 2011 Louisiana Football Magazine Preview Issue which is available for pre-order at www.lafootballmagazine.com/store.
Interview by Taylor Williams
LAFM: When did you first start playing football, and what have you always like most about it?
LC: I first started playing when I was four years old, and what I’ve always liked most about the game is the competition, my friends that I always played with and the fans that always came to games to cheer us on. And I just like to hit people and be the guy to stop the other team from scoring
LAFM: Have you dabbled at any positions besides safety in your high school career?
LC: Before I came to Dutchtown, I played running back; I played it since I was four years old. But actually since I stepped in at Dutchtown I’ve played defense all four years. Everybody says I have linebacker size but the quickness to play either the cornerback or safety positions.
LAFM: And on that note, what are your exact height, weight, and most recent forty time?
LC: 6-1, 205. I’m maintaining that now but I’m going to gain 15 more pounds before the season. All the coaches are always telling me if I get too much bigger I’ll have to move up to linebacker, though. My official forty time was a 4.4 flat.
LAFM: Do you apply those traits to other sports?
LC: I run track; I used to play basketball but I had to give it up cause I was always losing too much weight. My freshman year I was 195 and I lost maybe 20 pounds playing basketball that year. And the risk of injury, one of the best cornerbacks we have on our team tore his MCL this year and is just now coming back.
LAFM: Are you originally from Louisiana, and if so, what teams did you cheer for growing up?
LC: I am originally from here, born and raised, and as a kid I actually grew up watching University of Miami. I always liked Miami; I liked USC a lot too, but I always wanted to go to Miami because they just had such a good defense back then.
LAFM: Are you trying to stay close to home or branch out for college?
LC: You know, I really don’t know right now. Everything’s coming in, I’m just trying to take it all in and take things one step at a time. By the time of my birthday on January 10, I’ll be ready and then we’ll see what happens.
LAFM: Has football always been a big part of your family life?
LC: Football is a big thing, but my education is much bigger than football. My family loves to see me have fun but they want to see me get my education first.
LAFM: Do you have any family members that have played in college or the pros?
LC: We have a long tradition of football on my family, but only a couple that played in college. My dad went to Southern and played there and I know my uncle played somewhere in Texas too.
LAFM: Let’s shift gears to the present. What’s it been like playing for your head coach and how has he helped you become a better player?
LC: Well Coach Saia, he’s a great, humble guy who always tells me to the lead the team the way that I would want to be led. He tells me to stay humble and makes sure I stay on top of my schoolwork; he really stays on top of all his players. He’s big on the academic stuff cause he really wants everybody to play next year, and we all know that we need each other.
LAFM: Speaking of the team itself, what are some goals for next year?
LC: Our goal is always to just be better the following year. So if we had a 12-0 season, we want to go 13-0 and make it back home with a ring.
LAFM: And what about your personal goals?
LC: My personal goal is just to lead my team and be the best player I can be for my team; it’s all about the team and how I can help us get to the next level.
LAFM: So your coach puts a lot of responsibility on you to captain the defense?
LC: Yeah, all my coaches put a lot of responsibility on me. And I love that challenge; I love having people look up to me, like my mom used to tell me, ‘everybody’s eyes are on you,’ and I love that feeling. For example, I do my extra footwork drills once a week, and then I start to see the running backs and quarterbacks out there doing the same thing and following my example.
LAFM: Can you talk about some games or moments that have been especially sweet at this point in your career?
LC: I guess for the team, the toughest opponent we’ve had was Parkview Baptist. We played them and it was 13-10, a pounding game and basically a defensive shootout. During that game I had two interceptions that really turned the game around, one in the end zone that I returned to the 50 yard line and set up a score.
LAFM: What game gets you most motivated every year?
LC: Let me think… probably the East Ascension game since they’re right next to us, just a few miles down the road. And they always talk a lot of trash to us and we don’t say anything cause we like to let our trash talk on the field.
LAFM: What are your top choices for college at this point?
LC: My top choices are LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Florida, and Miami. I’ve gotten a lot of letters from all of those schools.
LAFM: Have you been to any camps yet?
LC: Not really, basically I’m just going to all the camps over the summer.
LAFM: You talked about waiting to determine where you ultimately go to school, but have you thought about what you might want to study?
LC: Yes, I want to study mass communications with a focus on broadcasting.