NEW CANAAN—Had he stayed at the University of Pennsylvania last season, Michael Collins almost certainly would have been the starter there.
Despite guaranteed playing time, Collins wanted more. He wanted big-time college football.
So, the New Canaan native transferred to Texas Christian University, where former high school teammate Lucas Niang is already a star.
Collins redshirted last year, per NCAA transfer rules, and is competing for a job as a red-shirt sophomore in the fall.
Unsurprisingly, TCU—a Big 12 school is a recruiting haven like Texas—has a ton of talent at the quarterback position.
Earning repetitions in practice is an everyday battle, and an Ivy League transfer from a small town in Connecticut certainly faces an uphill climb with the blue-blood quarterback recruits in the Horned Frogs’ ranks.
Surprisingly to those around the program, Collins hasn’t just earned first-team reps, he is an early frontrunner to win the starting job according to a story by Matt Jennings on diehards.com.
This surprises few around Connecticut.
In his time with the Rams, Collins set school and state records in passing yards and touchdowns over a career and single game. He won state titles in both his seasons as a starter.
In his senior season, Collins threw for over 3,400 yards and 54 touchdowns.
In 12 games, he threw 54 touchdowns.
The scariest part? Because of how talented the Rams were, Collins almost never played in second-halves of games. It’s not a stretch to think he could have approached 100 touchdowns had other teams been more competitive.
In terms of tools, Collins is a specimen. He stands at 6-foot-5, his mechanics and footwork are textbook and he has plenty of arm to make every throw on the field.
According to those around the TCU program, every ball comes out of his hand a perfect spiral.
He doesn’t rely on those natural gifts however, he works at his craft relentlessly. Just the fact that he left a starting job to compete against a crop of highly-recruited players just to sniff the field shows that he has no interest in taking the easy way.
There’s no guarantee that Collins will get playing time this year, or even the next two, but Terry Dinan—a New Canaan resident who runs the Rams website—put it perfectly, saying “I wouldn’t bet against him.”
I wouldn’t either.