It's not often, until a former player becomes a coach, that he finds a new deeper respect for the ones who helped him with his development. For 2009 SMU signee Byran Collins, his eyes are being opened before he is even close to hanging up the pads.
“Our coaching staff split up this spring, so they asked me along with a couple other seniors to come back and coach this spring,” stated Collins to PonyStampede.com. “Right now, I'm lifting and working out, and then coaching them. This Thursday, I'm going to be coaching the offensive line in the spring game.”
A 5A Honorable Mention All-State player this past season for Keller, Collins is getting valuable experience that might go a long way in his development at SMU under Dennis McKnight.
“I understand now what the coaches went through a year ago when I was in the same predicament. I know how they feel when I was going through my season last year,” said Collins. “It has been good for the guys, because they have someone to look up to. Sometimes it's easier hearing stuff from me instead of our coaches.”
Even with a new responsibility, Collins is finding the time to train harder than ever in preparation of hitting the Hilltop.
“My training has been going pretty good. I have gotten bigger in a good way. I'm up to 270 pounds,” said the 2009 prospect. “Really the coaches didn't care about the whole weight issue for me, as long as I could run and keep my speed. I'm really working on that right now (laughter).”
When Collins first steps on to campus as a player later this summer, he might be in better shape than others in the 2009 recruiting class. Collins will be playing in the Oil Bowl in Wichita Falls on January 13th. The Bowl is a High School All-Star Game played between All-Star teams from Texas and Oklahoma. Former players from the state of Texas who have played in the bowl game over the years feature: Phil Dawson, Rashaun Woods, Chase Daniels, Graham Harrell, Jason White, and Wes Welker.
"It should be fun and will help me a lot," said Collins. “I'm really to get at it at SMU. I'm excited to get there. I'm going to a great school, and I'm already excited about the fan base. I have the opportunity to come in and make a contribution right away. I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes, but I have never not played before in my life.”
Collins reports his bench press is up to 350 pounds and he is squatting over 500. He chose SMU over offers from Rice, Vanderbilt, Houston, Buffalo, and New Mexico State.