One of the lone bright spots in Sunday’s game was the play of Daryl Collins. Collins, a redshirt freshman who sat out last season after tearing his ACL, came to Kentucky with sky high expectations. He originally committed to Alabama, but changed his mind once he heard their plans to grayshirt him. He’s one of those young guys the staff speaks of only in superlatives; even before his stellar college football debut, he had been compared to Randall Cobb, which is pretty much the highest level of praise possible in Kentucky football. That’s a lot to live up to.
On Sunday, Collins turned the hype into reality, with seven catches for 64 yards. His performance earned him a starting spot in the next game, alongside Aaron Boyd and La’Rod King, whom he thinks of as a mentor. King and Collins have even formed somewhat of a friendly rivalry, which Collins challenging the senior wide receiver in practice and in games: “I already told La’Rod whatever he does, I’m going to try to do it better.” Collins told reporters today the he doesn’t ever want to give the starting spot back now that he’s earned it.
Remember that Randall Cobb reference? When Cobb was in town over the summer, he met Collins and spent some time with him. Like Cobb, Collins played multiple positions in high school, including wide receiver, tailback, quarterback and kick returner, and seems to possess the same competitive spirit and instinct that helped Cobb become one of the most buzzed about rookies in the league. Cobb saw the similarities too, telling Collins he could be the next star at UK if he keeps it up.
In what may be a bleak season for the Cats, that’s one hell of an endorsement.