Baton Rouge (La.) Redemptorist offensive tackle La'El Collins is considered by many to be one of the top offensive line prospects in the class of 2011. His film speaks to that perception and so does his size and physique. However, this offseason, Collins had yet to take in any combines or college camps to prove himself until this weekend when he attended the NUC Ultimate 100 Combine in Atlanta, Ga.
Not only did Collins impress those in attendance at this weekend's camp but somewhere along the line, he has impressed the Florida coaching staff as well. On Monday, the Gators offered the athletic big body.
"I went to a workout this morning at school and my coach called with a name and number to call for a coach at Florida," Collins said. "He said that they're saying the want to offer me a scholarship and want to see how I feel about it and how I feel about the school."
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Already with verbal offers from Oklahoma State and Tennessee, Collins felt excited about the new offer and excited about the Florida program.
"I feel good about getting offered by Florida," he said. "They're one of the top programs in the nation and they're coming off a national championship. I really like Florida because it's a really good school. I used to be a real big fan of them and I still am a real big fan of them."
Collins is familiar with the coaching staff in Gainesville and has done his homework on offensive line coach Steve Addazio and likes what he has been able to accomplish
"I'm pretty familiar with the offensive line coach and I checked up on them and read up about how they put a lot of offensive linemen in the league so they have pretty good offensive coaches," he said.
During his conversation with Florida, he was asked to come down to visit the campus in Gainesville for Florida's prospect camp in July, a trip Collins hopes to make. If he performs there with the kind of effectiveness that he showed at this weekend's NUC Ultimate 100, the Florida coaches will certainly feel good about their newest offer.
Despite a grueling eight hour drive from Baton Rouge to Atlanta through the night, Collins stepped out of the car ready to perform at the event. After several dominating reps in the one-on-ones, a badly busted nose ended Collins' day but not before he made a lasting impression.
"I really enjoyed the camp," he said. "I really enjoyed the one-on-ones. I was disappointed that I had to miss a lot of them but that's just part of life. You might get hurt. It give me great confidence just to know that I can go anywhere down south or up north and compete with anybody at the high school level.
"I just have to keep working hard and keep my head on straight and keep God first in my life and I can succeed wherever I go."
Along with Florida's camp in July, Collins also anticipates attending LSU's July prospect camp as well.