The massive frame of Texas Longhorns defensive line signee Alfred Collins is raising questions about whether his future in Austin will be inside at defensive tackle or outside at defensive end.
Back in early April, Texas head coach Tom Herman indicated that he thought the move to a four-man front under new defensive coordinator Chris Ash would help 2020 signees like Collins and Vernon Broughton by allowing them to play on the edges.
However, nearly two months can be a significant period of time for a young player’s physical development and a report on Collins from the Austin American-Statesman on Tuesday illustrated why — the Bastrop Cedar Creek product is up to 303 pounds now, up nearly 30 pounds from his weight during basketball season.
That time on the basketball court is important to keep in mind when projecting the future for Collins, as the conditioning level required to get up and down the court kept his weight suppressed in a way that it won’t be moving forward.
“I don’t know where my body’s going to go,” Collins said. “It may go down; it may go up as long as I stay fast.”
Consider the weight gain curve of Huntsville product T’Vondre Sweat, now entering his sophomore season with the Longhorns. As a recruit, Sweat was listed as around 250 pounds, gaining 30 pounds before he signed with the Longhorns during the early period of the 2019 class. By the time preseason camp started last season, Sweat was up to 320 pounds. He’s now listed at 335 pounds, an increase of 55 pounds in just a year and a half.
At 6’5, Collins is on the tall side to gain that much weight and move to nose tackle since leverage concerns start to become a factor.
However, based on the the weight gain for Collins just in the last several months, it seems fair to wonder just how much more weight he might gain once he arrives at Texas and enters the Longhorns strength and conditioning program. After all, Collins has still been running with his future teammates in addition to weightlifting.
Herman’s comments indicate that Texas sees Collins playing outside at strong-side defensive end, the position at which he was ranked as the nation’s No. 2 prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite. With Ash’s four-man front designed to create more pressure from the edges, that’s arguably where Collins has the most value.
Right now, though, even Collins doesn’t know where his body is going to take him.