Jasper Collins: Small School, Competitive Winning Attitude

By PFC Draft Writer Philip Arnold(@PhilipArnold20)

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Jasper Collins (Photo via Mount Union Athletics)

As the NFL Draft approaches in a little over a month, the big name prospects are beginning to receive a lot of media attention.  Though, there is one Wide Receiver you shall keep an eye on, Jasper Collins from Mount Union.  Many people who follow the draft closely may not be familiar with Collins because he played his collegiate ball at Division 3 Mount Union. Collins brings a winning attitude and mentality from Mount Union who has dominated the Division 3 ranks, winning 7 national championships since 2000.  During his career at Mount Union, Collins was a key factor in a 57-3 record while pulling in 232 career receptions for 3,527 yards and 37 touchdowns.  His 232 career receptions rank him second all-time in Mount Union history only behind former teammate and current Jacksonville Jaguar wide receiver Cecil Shorts.  Collins had a very successful senior season reeling in 92 catches for 1,694 yards, which ranks 7th all-time in Division 3 history, and 22 touchdowns.

To highlight Collins’s success during his senior year, Collins was selected as a Division 3 First Team All-American along with being named the D3football.com North Region Offensive Player of The Year.  Not only did Collins earn these two accolades, but most importantly he earned the opportunity to participate in the East-West Shrine Game.  Collins was the only Division 3 player to be invited to this participate in this week-long event capped off with an all-star game.  When I talked with Collins about the week he had a very good experience.  In the game Collins caught 3 catches for 18 yards.  “I was very thankful for the great opportunity to play in Shrine Game.  During the week we got great experiences working with the hospital and the kids.” said Collins.  Collins wasn’t afraid of competing against the Division 1 guys. Collins says, “The game was fun, it felt great putting the pads back on and competing. I got to compete against Division 1 talent all week during the practice and in the game, I’m a competitor and that’s what I wanted to show.”

Collins won’t be the first Wide Receiver from Mount Union to enter in the NFL ranks.  Former Mount Union Wide Receivers Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts have had successful careers thus far in the NFL.  Through five NFL seasons Garcon has totaled 232 receptions for 3,152 yards and 20 TDS with the Colts and Redskins.   In his second season as a NFL Wide Receiver, Shorts caught 55 passes for 979 yards and 7 touchdowns with the Jaguars.  Collins is in good hands through the process having been a teammate and roommate of Shorts’ at Mount Union.  “Cecil and I are very close friends.  We were roommates and teammates together at Mount Union for 2 years.” The NFL draft process can get a bit hectic for players and Collins says Cecil has been great in helping him through it all.

Collins has the tools to help him translate his success at Mount Union into becoming a productive NFL Wide Receiver.  Collins has a competitive attitude to him that he takes pride in.  “I’m a competitor, I go out and compete 100% all the time. At the Shrine game I got the opportunity to compete against Division 1 talent and guys that will also be in this draft and took full advantage of it.” answered Collins when asked about his competitive side.  A big reason why Collins was so successful in college was his technique. Collins is fundamentally sound in running crisp routes and leads to the ability to create space from defenders making him open.  I asked him what he can bring to the NFL as only being a Division 3 football player. “There have been guys before me with the Division 3 tag; London Fletcher, Pierre, and Cecil, they all have had success in the NFL and defeated that “tag”.  I feel my best attributes as a player are that I run good routes, creating space from defenders and I have good balls skills.”

Collins, who stands at 6′ and weighs 190 lbs., shares almost the exact same build as NFL Wide Receiver Lance Moore.  Collins will project as a slot wide receiver at the pro level due to his size.  “I like to watch film on a lot of Wide Receivers, I’m a big film guy watching guys that have been successful in the NFL and learning from their tapes. Wes Welker and Lance Moore are both good examples of slot receivers I like to watch and learn from.”,Collins replied, when asked about players in the NFL he idolizes or enjoys watching.

Though NFL teams will worry about Collins’s size at the receiver position, he can make a good late round pick up for teams looking for help at the receiver position.  He possesses a good skill set at running routes and getting himself open for quarterbacks.   He brings a strong competitive mentality with him, which will pair up well with his winning mentality that he has developed at Mount Union.  Mount Union Wide Receivers have made a name for themselves in the NFL, and Jasper Collins will have a great opportunity to continue that tradition.