Missouri landed its first known verbal commitment for 2018 from a defensive player Saturday when Braden River cornerback Tyrone Collins announced his pledge on social media.
Collins is a 5-foot-11, 165-pound versatile prospect from Bradenton, Fla., called the recruiting process “a blessing.”
He announced his decision on Twitter, thanking his family, friends, coaches and teammates among others and adding: “Thank you to Coach (Ryan) Walters, Coach (A.J.) Ofodile, and Coach (Barry) Odom for making me feel like part of the Tiger Family!”
Collins is a consensus three-star recruit who also claimed offers from Boston College, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Rutgers, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech among others, according to various recruiting outlets.
He’s unrated by ESPN and unranked nationally by Rivals, but 247Sports pegs him as the No. 75 cornerback in the country and Scout lists him as the No. 98 cornerback.
Collins is active and aware on defense, occasionally peeling off in man-to-man coverage to make plays on other nearby receivers or turning deflected passes into pick-sixes.
With his speed and elusiveness, Collins is a threat to score off every turnover, displaying good field vision and instincts with the ball in his hands.
On film, his speed is most evident as a game-breaking wide receiver and return specialist.
Collins routinely blows past defenders on go routes for long touchdowns and ripped off several long kickoff returns as a junior last fall.
Mizzou likes him most as a cornerback, where Collins is fearless defender — willing and unafraid to stick his nose in on a receiver in traffic or in run support.
He needs to clean up his tackling technique, keeping his head up and wrapping up consistently, but Collins is a competitive and savvy player on the boundary with impeccable ball skills and tremendous situational awareness.
The Tigers’ other three known 2018 commitments — Jones County (Miss.) Junior College wide receiver Harry Ballard II, Sidney Lanier High quarterback James Foster II from Montgomery, Ala., and Timberview High wide receiver Jalen Knox from Arlington, Texas — are offensive players.