Michigan State RB Elijah Collins Happy Connor Heyward is Back
The Michigan State football team will have few constants coming into this year – they have an entirely new coaching staff (outside of Mike Tressel and Ron Burton), including the head coach Mel Tucker.
There will be new schemes under offensive coordinator Jay Johnson, and with Brian Lewerke gone – a new man under center.
In 2019, Elijah Collins was hands down the best player on the Spartan offense, getting a workload of 222 carries and learning everything he could in a short amount of time (he had two carries the year before).
But as he said on Monday, it's time for him to do more, even as a leader.
And Connor Heyward, MSU's starting running back for the majority of 2018, is just the veteran Collins needs to help him achieve those aspirations.
"Nothing has changed; me and Connor have always been great friends. A lot of people want to think we are enemies or rivals, but that's my dawg," Collins said. "We've been cool ever since I got here."
After entering the transfer portal last season, he returned for this year, much to Collins delight.
"It does definitely help because we're the only two who really had a lot of true game experience," said Collins.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back knows people want his spot, but now it's about a lot more than being "the guy."
"It's not so much about just trying to put myself out there and show them what I can do, but now it's about trying to bring the running back room along. I've got to step up and be a leader," Collins said. "I've got to bring the young guys along and get them up to speed so that I won't be the only one running the ball."
With Heyward by his side, Collins can get to where he wants to be on and off the field.
"To have another veteran back in the room is always a plus because now I'm not the only person everybody looks too. Everybody can look to him (Heyward) as well."
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