Collins keeping it loose

Lineman focuses on Jayhawks' run, with NFL future visible in the distance

Thursday, November 8, 2007

KU hopes to improve to 10-0 in Stillwater

This Saturday when the KU football team heads to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State, they hope to accomplish a feat that hasn't been done since 1899 - start the football season 10-0.

OSU game a return to Oklahoma for many Jayhawks

Even though the KU football team finds itself on the road this weekend in Stillwater, many of the current Jayhawk players will feel right at home in Oklahoma.

Audio clips

2007 KU Football practice Nov. 7

Mama's gotta eat - but not yet.

So says Kansas University offensive lineman Anthony Collins, a promising NFL prospect who's only a junior this year.

Collins - nicknamed "Mama's Gotta Eat" because of his desire to play professionally - was asked Wednesday if Mama's been eating well lately.

"She ain't eatin' yet," Collins replied with a grin. "She's going to eat pretty soon, though. I hope so. Next year, she's eating."

Without solicitation, he then quickly clarified his comment.

"Don't take that nowhere. I see your eyes," he said. "She'll eat next year - after my senior year."

Collins' mother, Rhoda Goodman, lives in Texas and hadn't seen her son play college football in person until last month, when she made the trip to the Oct. 27 game at Texas A&M.

What she undoubtedly saw was a behemoth of a son, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound specimen who's a key part of the fifth-ranked Jayhawks' remarkable unbeaten run - one that resumes Saturday with a 7 p.m. game at Oklahoma State.

Goodman also may have noticed that the most animated, entertaining personality on the field that night (or any night) was her own offspring.

Besides being giant, Collins is notable for his over-the-top jubilation while he plays.

After one touchdown earlier this year, he jumped into the arms of 5-10, 190-pound running back Jake Sharp.

Amazingly, Sharp wasn't injured on the play. Or killed.

"I hope I don't hurt nobody," Collins quipped, before adding, "I told them I'd stop, but I ain't stopped yet."

Don't count on it, either. Collins admits he plays on emotion, and his animated personality often has a starring role. That's just how he's wired.

Collins also considers himself a leader. In the rare times the Jayhawks are playing from behind, the emotions of KU's left tackle don't change. He's as jacked as ever when there's work to be done, and he tries to spread it to his teammates.

"No doubt. I have to," Collins said. "There's so many people worried about so many things. If I just keep their head up and keep them loose, I'll be doing my job."

Of course, protecting quarterback Todd Reesing's blindside is the main aspect of his job title. Collins was shuffled over to left tackle after last season, putting the biggest responsibility on him.

But how long will he be there? Some wondered if Collins' NFL urge would overtake him a year early, after he was quoted over the summer as saying "My mama needs to eat. My mama needs a new house."

Collins now says "mama" can wait one more year.

As a follow-up, he was asked if his staying for the 2008 season was a sure thing.

"Yeah," Collins said. "I'll be back another year."