Thursday, March 26, 2015

Collins is 'Game Fit'

Deshawn Collins helped carry the load for state powerhouse Grant (Sacramento) last season, culminating in a 2,000 yard season and Sac-Joaquin Section title. The Class of 2016 prospect, though, is starting to work on his hands to show versatility (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna).  
When he puts the Grant High School Pacer uniform on, Deshawn Collins becomes a bolt of lightning who flashes through a hole then electrifies the crowds with his speed, power and array of moves in the open field.

But at Passing Down’s Nor Cal Regional in Livermore, Collins amazed the spectators with a different trait: his ability to play slot receiver.

The ultra-productive Class of 2016 running back, who led the Pacers with 2,266 rushing yards last season, became Team Game Fit’s reliable underneath target by showing his receiving side, as the Sacramento-based squad finished in the top eight of the Nor Cal regional held on March 15. The 5’8”, 185 pound Collins used his hands, juke moves and speed to infuse the Game Fit offense.

He entered the Livermore regional motivated by the talent he was getting ready to go against, with the hope that his appearance will elevate his game.

“It’s great. I love the chance to compete against everybody here,” Collins said. “I’m from Sacramento, so there isn’t always that much of a chance to venture out and play against other competition. But this (Passing Down) is a great environment.”

The junior has worked out with Game Fit since his freshman year. He said that his workouts mainly emphasizes leg work.

“I always love to have quick speed. I want to make sure I’m a step ahead of my competition,” Collins said. “I see myself as a one-cut runner. I like to put my foot on the ground, get up field and go anywhere I can.”  

On film, Collins shows his speed and vision for Grant. Anyone who watches a Grant Pacer game has probably witnessed No. 10 cutting up defenses with the football in his hands.

He also has to deal with the weight of keeping a rich football tradition alive in North Sacramento. The Pacers are a renown powerhouse in the California prep football scene and took home the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division II title in 2014. Collins said the expectations at Grant are real high.

“We’ve had so many great players who’ve put on the pads like Shaq Thompson,” Collins said. “We’ve got to carry the load.”

Collins holds a 3.8 grade point average off the field. His recruiting period, however, has been quiet so far. No schools have extended a scholarship offer to him. He’s received letters of interest from San Jose State, San Diego State, Utah State and some Ivy League programs.

He adds that the talent level in the 916 is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“It’s real deep,” Collins said. “I feel people tend to underestimate the talent we have here. I’ll admit that we don’t have the size, but we’ve got speed and hands.”

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