PFC Exclusive Interview with Jasper Collins WR

Jasper Collins former Mount Union WR joins PFC Draft Radio. Unfortunately due to technical difficulties the audio was unavailable and we only have the print interview.

Link to the last PFC Article Jasper Collins: Small School, Competitive Winning Attitude http://www.profootballcentral.com/2013/03/20/jasper-collins-small-school-competitive-winning-attitude/

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Philip Arnold here from Pro Football Central joined to today by special Guest Mount Union WR Jasper Collins.

Phil-Jasper coming out of high school you chose Mount Union but you’re from NY how did you end up at Mount Union & Talk about your time at Mount Union.

Jasper- Coming out of high school I had the opportunity to play both basketball and football in college.  I started getting recruited by Mount Union a bit late but once I went to campus for a visit I fell in love.  Obviously the football program was a big reason but the academics and campus atmosphere were great.

Phil- What about your time there at Mount Union playing in such a storied D3 program?

Jasper- Playing at Mount Union was an awesome experience.  Being a part of that winning tradition there you build a brother hood with the guys you play with.  Academically and athletically both experiences were great.  Going to a small school you build a lot of good relationships with professors and fellow students. Obviously the football was great, we were very successful and I had a good career with a lot of production and I’m just blessed to have this opportunity.

Phil-Being a Division 3 guy you may not be on a lot of radars people or may not know you. But I think the OAC is a Division 3 conference that should be noted talent wise. Even though it’s Division 3 there are still a lot of good football teams and players that come out of the conference with guys like you, Cecil, Chris, Pierre but also guys from other schools like Jason Trusnik from Ohio Northern and London Fletcher from John Carroll.   When people give you that Division 3 “label” how do you view that? Do you just say yeah D didn’t play in the SEC or a Big conference but I’m still playing college football and still playing against others capable of playing at a high level?

Jasper- Exactly like you said you’re playing against other college football players who are just as capable and football is still football.  There have been guys like Pierre and Cecil and London who have defeated that label and have been successful.  I think it puts a chip on our shoulder to prove we belong and can play with the best.  I think when it comes down to it, scouts and coaches pop in the film and can see I can make plays and compete.  I think they see that I had a very productive career and can play on film even though it might not be division 1 football.

Phil- What about a favorite moment or memory or accomplishment from Mount Union that will always stick with you?  I’m sure winning that national championship this year would be right up there?

Jasper-Definitely winning the national championship was one of the best memories.  It’s something you always dream of and to achieve it was just extraordinary and it was one of the best moments of my life. Like I said before the overall experience at Mount Union was great too.

Phil-Now you guys were in that national championship game all 4 years of your career, but were only able to win 1 championship, was there any pressure for you seniors to win that national title or did you guys just take it one game at a time?

Jasper-You know it was a kind of a mixture of both.  It all started with giving 100% in the summer when camp started and doing the little things.  Then we took it one day and practice and game at a time.  I think everyone had that mentality to get back there and to win it now.  The coaches believed in it and did what they needed to do to get us there.  As seniors we didn’t want to graduate as the first class to never win a national championship during out careers. That’s not how we wanted to be remembered and I think that was in the back of all our minds to push our self to that goal.  We knew after last season that was it, it was our last chance and we weren’t going to get any more shots at it.

Phil- What about the whole draft process, how has that been for you or how would you describe the process so far?

Jasper- The whole process is long but fun. I think the biggest thing is that you have to be patient and have an open mind.  There is a lot of work and training that obviously goes into it but it’s worth it.

Phil- Now there have been 2 successful WR’s from Mount Union in the NFL, Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts and you’re going to be the guy following in their footsteps. How big of a help have they been through the process and how much contact do you have with them?

Jasper- Oh yeah for sure. Cecil and I were roommates for two years while at Mount Union so we were very close.  They both have been big helps in giving me advice and what to expect during this process.  But Cecil has been really close for a while.  I’m actually in Jacksonville right now working out with him and getting ready.  It’s great to have those guys to look towards when I need help with something.

Phil- Now Pierre and Cecil both received combine invites when they were going through this whole process, but unfortunately you didn’t. Did you use that as motivations when you were working out for teams to kind of say “hey, I can be just as good as them if not better? 

Jasper- Yeah, I guess you could say that.  When I first found out I wasn’t going to be invited I was down a bit but it wasn’t anything that was going to stop me.  I’ve been told by some coaches and what not that I have the talent level equal or better than some of the guys that get invites so that’s a good motivator and helps me stay focused.  Another big thing I’ve been told that helps too is that guys who don’t get invited to the combine have had successful NFL careers even though they didn’t get the opportunity also, so all those things help motivate you through.

Phil- Now you also got a teammate there Chris Denton another WR preparing for the draft.  You guys put up quite the numbers as a tandem. He’s worked a lot with our site too how nice was it to have that other WR complement to you so teams weren’t just focusing up on you?

Jasper- Without a doubt.  I think that’s a big reason why we were so successful is because I had him and he had me.  Teams weren’t able to game plan just Chris or I because if they did they’d be leaving one of us to have a great matchup.  It was really nice being able to play with such a talented player like him and it made the offense a lot of fun to be a part of.

Phil- Have you guys been working out together getting ready for this whole thing or have you been doing your own separate things?

Jasper- After the season finished up we were working out together getting ready for our Pro Days.   We would train together and what not but after that we’ve been doing some of our own things.  I know he just had his Super Regional combine which I heard he did well in, which is awesome, and is back in Ohio I believe.  I’m down here in Jacksonville with Cecil working out and getting ready.

Phil- You got the opportunity to play in the East/West Shrine game.  How do you think that helped you? Talk a little about the experience of playing in that game?

Jasper- That whole week was a great experience.  I got to play with some and against guys from the big schools like Miami and Ohio State Etc… And show just because I’m a small school guy I can still play against some of the better talent there.  I think another important thing was you worked and were coached by NFL coaches.  You got to see what their styles are like, learning an offense and most importantly showcasing your abilities for them.  Overall it was a really good week and I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to have been invited and show what I can do!

Phil- What teams have you been in contact with and have shown interest in you thus far? Who have you had workouts for thus far?

Jasper- There’s been a good amount of teams showing interest and contacting me.  I’ve been told nothing is certain until you see it up there in print for sure on draft day.  You can have all the contact but you don’t know who actually is interested until you see your name called.  I’ve just been enjoying it all and meeting with the teams and showing what I can do.

Phil- How about favorite player or guy that you admired as a player growing up?

Jasper- I’ve never really had one favorite player.  I really just enjoy watching the best and seeing what they do best and translating it into myself as a player.

Phil- What do you bring to a team as a Wide Receiver?

Jasper-I think the biggest things I can bring are my hardworking attitude and I pride myself in everything I do.  I always want to be the best at everything I do and I think that’s a reflection of the attitude we had at Mount Union.  Skillset wise I feel I’m really good at my route running and creating separation from defenders.  It’s something I’ve prided myself in college for. Also I think I’m very good at catching.  I want to catch anything around me and I understand in the NFL if you have drop issues you won’t be around too long.

Phil- What about being a small school guy do you think it’ll be a challenge for you to adapt to the speeds of the NFL game and maybe the size differences?

Jasper-Definitely, I think moving from any level to another is an adjustment.  Not just for me being a small school guy but even for division one guys.  You are playing against guys that have been doing it for 8-10 years so there clearly going to know all the ins and outs and be a little better suited than you.  It will come through practice and what not, and that’s what you put in all this work for, so once your there it comes easier than expected.

Phil- What about a nickname Jasper? Anything ever come along in your college career that your teammates called you by?

Jasper-I never really had an exciting nickname really.  Everyone around campus just called me Junior.

Phil- Jasper it was a pleasure to have you join me and I appreciate you taking time out of your night to talk about your journey to the draft and how it’s going for you. I wish you nothing but the best and can’t wait to see your name called next weekend!

Jasper- Thank you very much for having me and letting me be your guest. I appreciate it and were staying prayed for the best!