A potential SEC championship and College Football Playoff berth will be at stake for Alabama on Saturday at LSU, but for star safety Landon Collins, regarded among the nation's elite prospects at the position, there are some personal stakes, as well.
Alabama coach Nick Saban recruited Collins out of Dutchdown, La., LSU coach Les Miles' recruiting backyard, which is a task that would be as tough as LSU recruiting a prospect living within a half hour of Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Predictably, it was tough on Collins. Neighbors, friends, strangers and even his own mother weren't afraid to let him know about their displeasure with his choice to spurn the home state Tigers.
"I'm very pumped. Going home, playing against my home state," Collins said, according to a series of tweets from local media. "This game means a lot. I wanna show them that I picked the right team, the team that can dominate. That I picked the better team. ... It means a lot (that I haven't lost to them). I wanna be able to talk that trash. ... All of us New Orleans boys got bashed coming to Alabama as the rival."
Linebackers Denzel Devall and Tim Williams and left tackle Cam Robinson are three other key names from Louisiana on the Alabama roster, though Robinson is not likely to play because of an ankle injury. But nobody seems to be taking it more personally than Collins, a 6-0, 220-pound junior who has been scouted as the best in the Crimson Tide's line of top prospects at the position, from Mark Barron to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Barron and Clinton-Dix were first-round draft picks.