CFB 24/7  

 

LSU OL La'el Collins patterns game after Eagles' Jason Peters

AP Photo/Butch Dill
LSU's La'el Collins is one of the top offensive tackles in college football.

HOOVER, Ala. -- La'el Collins put off the NFL for one more season in college last winter to put himself in the best possible position as a prospect. And if the LSU senior has anything to say about it, he'll play like Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters when his pro career finally gets underway.


14 for '14 series:
CFB 24/7 counts down the 14 college football players or coaches to watch in varying categories in 2014.

» Top small-school prospects
» Impact freshmen in college football
» Top rivalries in college football
» Top personalities in college football
» Best uniforms in college football
» Best stadiums in college football
» Biggest hitters in college football
» Hot coordinators in college football
» Best recruiters in college football
» Hot-seat coaches in college football
» Best coaches in college football
» Best names in college football
» Heaviest players in college football
» Smallest players in college football
» Top celebrity college football fans
» Top Heisman Trophy candidates
» Most explosive athletes in college football
» Most versatile players in college football
» Most freakish athletes in college football
» Scariest players in college football
» Fastest players in college football
» Toughest players in college football
» Smartest players in college football
» Most physical players in college football
» College football players with best intangibles

"There are a lot of great offensive tackles in the league. I like to try to pattern my game off of Jason Peters. I love him," Collins said Wednesday at SEC Media Days. "He's a physical beast, man, and I like guys like that. I like (Redskins tackle) Trent Williams, (Seahawks tackle) Russell Okung, great athletic, big tackles who are strong and physical. Those are the kinds of guys I try to take something from."

Collins was the lone LSU underclassman last season -- at least among those with a real chance to be drafted -- to return to college for his senior year. And when LSU guard Trai Turner announced he was turning pro, it was a relief for running back Terrence Magee to later learn that Collins would stay. Magee also made a bold prediction on Collins' future in the game.

"I was very excited. (Running back) Kenny Hilliard texted me and said 'La'el is coming back,'" Magee said. "At the next level, I think he'll do a tremendous job, and from day one, he'll most likely be a starter in the NFL."

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks ranked Collins among the top offensive tackle prospects in the college game, but noted improvements the senior must make in the areas of balance, body control and lateral quickness. Last year's crop of offensive tackles in the SEC included three first-round picks (Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Ja'Wuan James), and several others drafted later. Collins' draft status could easily have been lost amid the strength of that group, but by staying at LSU, he has put himself in a better position.

"La'el Collins and Jerald Hawkins will be two of the finest tackles in our league," Tigers head coach Les Miles said.

Collins said his decision to return was an easy one.

"It wasn't hard at all, because growing up, I always wanted to be part of this program," Collins said. "Why would I want to give up that (part) of my life? This is everything I always wanted, before anyone started talking about the NFL."

Peters signed a five-year, $51.3 million contract extension with the Eagles in February. Collins, no doubt, hopes to emulate the Philadelphia's standout tackle in that way, as well.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15