Here’s a closer look at why a recent wide receiver commitment should be able to help early in his college career, how he will help Clemson’s recruiting efforts even further, and examining the nuances of his game.
Clemson has begun to reach out beyond the ACC and SEC recruiting areas to recruit elite players. Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and even California prospects are now signing with the Tigers. During a recent junior day visit, Clemson landed one of its primary wide receiver targets.
Meet Beaux Collins. The 6-2, 195-pound talent is not only a player that will run by you, but he will also make precise cuts, win a higher rate of 50-50 balls than most pass catchers, and can take a screen pass 80 yards for a touchdown by using his quick feet to weave through defenders.
Despite all his talent, why discuss Collins? Four reasons stand out. First, he hails from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, one of the best high school football programs in the country. Second, It’s also the same program as incoming 2020 Clemson quarterback recruit DJ Uiagalelei. Obviously the two already hold a strong sense of how to play together.
Third, the more elite talent that Clemson lands from the greater Los Angeles area, the more likely the Tigers will be to recruit top five classes. The City of Angels is always loaded. While USC is down, the Tigers should make a concerted effort to take advantage, and so far they have.
Fourth and finally, with Collins committing to Clemson, it will allow the Clemson staff to be very patient with wide receiver recruiting. The Clemson coaching staff can take it’s time and make sure it finds the right fit for the program, whether it decides to take one or two more wide receiver recruits. With the overall view of what Collins committing to Clemson means, it’s now time to discuss his game from different technical aspects.
To place Collins into context as compared to the usual high school wide receiver, one must understand that truly is playing for one of America’s premier high school football programs. The coaching is better than most places, and of course he’s played with Uiagalelei.
When Collins arrives at Clemson, he will be advanced technically for a player just entering college. A couple of those areas will be seen during the first play of his Hudl film. First and foremost, for a long-legged player, Collins possesses quick feet at the line. This allows him to separate from press coverage. Next, he goes directly into his route, not allowing the cornerback to make up ground.
During the previous film clips, the first play selection for Collins’ film proved to be excellent. It’s a microcosm of his style effort and technique. Another good quality Collins possesses would be the requisite length that college coaches covet.
It’s no secret that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney seeks tall wide receivers. With his height, Collins will fit right into the wide receiver group. More importantly, Collins is a ‘long’ player, making him seem even bigger than most players in the 6-2 or 6-3 range. While this film represents Collins’ junior highlights, this first play displays just how much arm length Collins can utilize.
Most wide receivers would not catch that pass. It was low, thrown like a bullet, and away from his body. Collins extended towards the football and made a play. That leads to the next factor, and it’s the most important.
Collins catches the football away from his body. Sounds simple, but many of the NFL wide receivers often allow the ball to come into their pads, and the ball bounces away. Take veteran NFL wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. for an example. No question he’s enjoyed a good NFL career thus far. His elite speed helped him to stay in the NFL, but he’s generally considered average as a natural receiver because he does not consistently catch the ball away from his body like most of the elite NFL wide receivers.
Collins already accomplishes this skill with ease. Even with tight coverage, Collins can quickly turn and make a back-shoulder catch without any issue. Wide receivers may improve pass-catching skills, yes, but they also need the natural ability to catch a pass.
Because Collins already makes these types of plays with relative ease, he could be a candidate to play early for the Tigers in 2021. The beginning play of the next Hudl video exemplifies how Collins turns and makes an otherwise awkward catch look simple.
The final trait is one that combines raw speed, excellent high school coaching, and effort from a wide receiver. After leaving the line of scrimmage, the quicker a wide receiver eats up the ground between himself and the defensive back, the quicker he can defeat the coverage.
Wide receivers often round off their routes, take poor angles, and do not drive off the line of scrimmage fast enough to accomplish this goal. Collins already does well within all three aspects. This next segment of plays features a good combination of these traits.
It’s zone coverage on the first play, but Collins still bursts off the line, makes sharp cuts and accelerates all the way into the deep secondary before making a catch. The safety played too far off, but Collins took advantage by using all of his route-running skills. The second play is more impressive.
The defensive back plays off coverage, but he’s still lined up with Collins. At the snap, Collins drives directly towards the cornerback at a slightly outside angle. He stems his route vertical without rounding off his route, and finally makes a decisive cut that turns the route into a deep post. End result, touchdown reception for Collins.
The irony of the play, the defensive back did well when breaking on the football. Collins simply beat him to the spot the football was thrown by Uiagalelei. The pass proved to be very good, and Collins completed the play by making a contested catch and running into the end zone.
To place everything into context, Collins could immediately impact the 2021 Clemson roster with his talent, allows the Clemson coaching staff to focus on a small number of 2021 wide receiver targets moving forward, and keeps the Tigers on the minds of other California prospects. Landing Collins will pay dividends for Clemson.