Arkansas freshman running back Alex Collins rushed for his 1,000th yard of the season against LSU on Friday, giving the Razorbacks a silver lining and foundation in the midst of a turbulent year.
According to Robbie Neiswanger of Arkansas News, he is just the second freshman in school history to reach this mark, following the footsteps of only Darren McFadden:
McFadden, who finished his Arkansas career with 4,590 rushing yards and eventually become a top-five NFL draft pick, is elite company for Collins to join. On top of that, according to Dave Miller of the National Football Post, he is just the 10th true freshman to crack 1,000 yards in SEC history.
Collins was one of the best running back prospects in the Class of 2013, ranking No. 17 overall on the 247Sports rankings. He came to Arkansas with much hoopla and chatter, especially after his mom tried to block him from signing with the Razorbacks.
He eventually landed in Fayetteville, though, and so far Collins has been a revelation. He has faded since becoming a national darling at the start of the year, but he has still been a pleasure to watch run.
Sure, he may have only topped 100 yards once in the last eight games, but a lot of that has had to do with forces beyond his control. Arkansas has trailed in almost every game, being forced to pass more than it would like, and he also splits time with Jonathan Williams in the backfield.
Collins has a solid, powerful running style that meshes well with Bielema's downhill scheme. As the personnel starts to fit his style, the Razorbacks should get better and at least become competitive in the SEC.
Collins finished with 28 yards on 11 carries in Arkansas' heartbreaking, 31-27 defeat.