Just a few weeks ago, four-star linebacker Prince Kollie out of Jonesborough (Tenn.) Crockett was offered by Notre Dame and defensive coordinator Clark Lea. It seems Lea is looking for the next Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the Notre Dame defense, and Kollie appears to fit the mold perfectly.
The likeness to Owusu-Koramoah is not one that should be taken lightly. The Rover position is vital in the Lea defense, and with all due respect to Drue Tranquill, a case could be made that no one has played it better than Owusu-Koramoah. Lea knows what he is looking for in that position and has had great success with it at Notre Dame.
Tranquill manned the position in 2017 and Owusu-Koramoah held it down in 2019. During those two seasons the pair averaged 82.5 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and four passes defensed.
Playing safety, inside linebacker and outside linebacker in high school, Kollie has a great understanding of both defensive and offensive schemes. His head coach, Hayden Chandley, knows Kollie is capable of playing any position on the field if asked.
“He tends to pick up things pretty quickly, he’s got a knack for just being a football player,” said Chandley. “His natural instincts are exceptional and he uses them to his advantage very well.”
Kollie’s athleticism and versatility are why he is used all over the field, and on both sides of the ball. So far, Kollie has played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, safety and linebacker, with one season left to play still this fall. Yet another reason why Kollie compares so favorably to Owusu-Koramoah, who was also a do-it-all player for Hampton (Va.) Bethel.
According to MaxPreps, the Crockett star hauled in 68 passes for 1,085 yards (16.0 YPC) and nine touchdowns as a junior, and he rushed for 388 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore. On defense the last two seasons, Kollie totaled 143 tackles, 13 pass break ups and four interceptions.
Chandley would like to give Kollie some breaks, but his star pupil wants more than anything to win and will do whatever it takes to do so, on both sides of the ball. He’s also just too athletic and talented to not have on the field at all times.
“We always knew Prince was fast, but we did a 40-yard dash before the season started last year and he ran a 4.5,” noted Chandley. “None of us could believe it.”
Ranked as the No.6 player in the state of Tennessee according to 247Sports, Chandley noted that Kollie always plays with a chip on his shoulder and believes he is the best player on any field once he steps onto it.
“Prince and I took a look at his rating on 247sports a while back and he couldn’t believe he was only (then) ranked as the No.12 player in Tennessee,” Chandley explained. “He believes he’s the best and he wants to prove it to you.”
Rivals still ranks Kollie as the 19th best player in the state. If that is accurate it would mean Tennessee is absolutely loaded in 2021, but I have a hard time believing there are 18 better players in the state than Kollie.
Being the best is something Kollie not only wants for himself, but his teammates as well. He was voted as a team captain by his teammates as a junior last year, something that rarely happens according to Chandley.
“He was a leader for us last year, but he knows that is an area he needs to grow in,” said the Crockett head coach. “He and I know we will not be as talented of a team as we were last year, so he knows his role is going to expand even greater, and that means being a leader on and off the field as a role model to the younger guys.”
When it comes to his recruitment, Kollie is nowhere near a lock to Notre Dame, but the Irish are a favorite for his pledge as he starts to narrow down his recruitment. The Tennessee standout recently released a Top 10, which included Notre Dame, LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Auburn, Tennessee, Louisville, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Chandley mentioned Kollie will likely take visits to each of his Top 10 schools, which could drag out his recruitment if the NCAA bans visits into the fall.
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