Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Collins' meeting with Arkansas DC helps Hogs
Arkansas defense coordinator Travis Williams (left) speaks Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, with coach Sam Pittman during practice inside the Walker Pavilion on the university campus in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/photo for today's photo gallery. .(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
Junior defensive line target Charleston Collins was impressed Saturday after meeting with Arkansas defensive coordinator Travis Williams for the first time.
The two have spoken on the phone several times, but Collins said the in-person meeting was better.
“The visit was great,” Collins said. “I had a chance to chill with Coach T Will. He really changed my perspective of Arkansas. He made them bump up a few digits. An amazing guy, beautiful soul — just a great all-around person. I was just hanging out with him all day. It was really the purpose of me coming down, getting to know him better.”
Collins, 6-5 and 263 pounds, of Mills in Little Rock has approximately 30 scholarship offers from Arkansas, LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Oregon, Miami, Georgia, Penn State, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Tennessee, Colorado and others.
He said Williams is relatable.
“It’s deeper than football," Collins said. "We come from somewhat of the same background. He opened up to me about some stuff and I opened up to him about some stuff, just really building that deep connection.”
Collins recorded 124 tackles, 46 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 5 recovered fumbles, 4 pass breakups and 1 forced fumble last season. On3.com rates Collins a 4-star prospect, the No. 10 defensive lineman and No. 132 overall prospect in the nation in the 2024 class.
Williams explained how he would be used if he became a Razorback.
“He said we’ll start out outside and eventually as I gain my weight back and mass up, I’ll more so move inside and be more of a hybrid type of player,” Collins said.
He likes what Williams has in mind for him.
“I love it,” Collins said. “Thats kind of what I saw myself anyway, so just seeing me and him have the same mindset and same path, it really lit a spark in me.”
Collins named a top 12 of Arkansas, LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Miami, Tennessee, Oregon, Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan State and Mississippi State on Nov. 30.
The visit was his seventh since he started being recruited by the Razorbacks. He praised the other coaches and support staff.
“I love the staff from the recruiting coordinators to the recruiting girls,” Collins said. “Everybody is always family. It’s a word I can describe it all, a family vibe. Everybody knows one another. Everybody hugs and handshakes.”
His relationship with defensive line coach Deke Adams is strong and Saturday gave him another opportunity to spend time with him.
“We just got done playing a little basketball with each other,” Collins said. “Me, him and (head coach Sam Pittman) played a little basketball in the players lounge. He (Adams) beat me pretty bad. He has a little jumper on him.”
Adams' son, Jordyn, gave his father a steering wheel with his initials engraved in it. Adams showed off the gift to Collins.
“He has a pretty cool car, Scat Pack, so it’s pretty cool,” Collins said. “He had a custom steering wheel. His son gave it to him on Father's Day.”
Collins planned to visit Texas on Jan. 21 but it appears he’ll try to reschedule so he can make a return trip to Fayetteville next Saturday.
“I’m trying to move Texas up sometime during the week, so that way I can get back down for the (basketball) game next weekend,” he said.
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