The recruiting cycle for the 2021 class has hit more hiccups than any recruiting class in history, seeing all official visits cancelled and in-person workouts, meetings and the like all suspended until after the coronavirus pandemic shuts down.
Speaking with 247Sports, the country’s No. 2 APB Damir Collins from Portland, Oregon’s Jefferson High School expressed that Cal is absolutely in his top 10, even if the Oregon State Beavers are standing out to him.
“Oregon State has been standing out a lot,” said Collins. “Plus UNLV, Maryland, Cal, Boise State and Washington State,” said Collins. “And Nebraska is talking to me and LSU and Michigan. My top five will come soon.”
The one benefit for Cal through this recruiting class is the fact that Collins was able to attend Cal’s Junior Day on a visit in January. He also visited UCLA before his other trips were cancelled but there was no mention of the Bruins near his top five.
It’s also important to note of his top schools listed above, Nebraska and Michigan have not offered him a scholarship, or at least not yet.
He has 13 total scholarship offers currently, one from Cal, and a heavy array of fellow Pac-12 rivals including Arizona State, Colorado and his in-state schools of Oregon and Oregon State.
Collins stands at 5-9, 185 pounds and is the No. 3 prospect in the entire state of Oregon as well as the 292nd-best player overall in the country. Brandon Huffman of 247Sports compares him to Chicago Bears RB Tarik Cohen and states:
Runs with surprising power but doesn’t carry the ideal size for an every down back. Shows burst through the line of scrimmage and superb hands out of the backfield as a receiver. Shifty with ability to make defenders miss. Can line up in the slot and be used on sweeps and as an open field runner while also being able to return punts and kicks. Projects as multi-year Power 5 starter and projects as third day pick.
One thing that’s for sure, it’s that Collins has been working hard this offseason and amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“All of the schools are recruiting me for my running back, and they would have seen I’ve gotten bigger and stronger,” said Collins. “Almost every school that I have an offer from wanted to see what my body has changed up during the year. I do lots of home workouts and run two miles a day and I’m blessed to have a weight room in my basement so I workout everyday.”
So there you have it, Cal is certainly among the favorites to land Collins’ services, and you have to think the fact that he was able to get onto Cal’s campus earlier this year has to play a huge factor into that. Also, it says a ton about head coach Justin Wilcox and his staff as well as everything that is Berkeley for him to keep Cal on his top list and remove UCLA, despite visiting the Bruins around the same time.
We’ll keep tabs on Collins and his recruitment as it heats up.