Alex Collins (American football)

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Alex Collins
refer to caption
Collins with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021
No. 41 – Seattle Seahawks
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1994-08-26) August 26, 1994 (age 27)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:South Plantation
(Plantation, Florida)
College:Arkansas (2013–2015)
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 5 / Pick: 171
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2021
Rushing yards:1,981
Rushing average:4.2
Rushing touchdowns:18
Receiving yards:466
Receiving touchdowns:1
Player stats at · PFR

Alex Collins (born August 26, 1994) is an American football running back for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Seahawks in the fifth round, 171st overall, of the 2016 NFL Draft. Collins spent two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017 and 2018 before getting re-signed by Seattle in 2020. He played college football at Arkansas.

Early years[edit]

Collins attended South Plantation High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was a letterman in football, basketball, lacrosse, and track.[1] He was coached by Doug Gatewood. He was named Broward County Player of the Year as a junior after rushing for 1,786 yards and 28 touchdowns as the Paladins earned seven victories and qualified for the state playoffs. As a senior, he rushed for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns despite missing three games due to injury, helping South Plantation to nine wins, the district title and a berth in the 8A state playoffs. Following his senior season, he was selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, where he was teammates with fellow Arkansas signee Austin Allen.[2]

Also a talented sprinter, Collins ran the third leg on South Plantation's state-champion 4 × 100 m relay (41.98 s), leading to him being named the 2013 Broward County Male Athlete of the Year.[3]

Collins was ranked as a four-star recruit by and the 13th best running back in his class.[4] Collins committed to play college football at the University of Arkansas in February 2013.

Alex Collins, a running back with the east coast team of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, attempts to spot a hole in the defensive line during the team's first practice on December 31, 2012.
Collins in 2012

On signing day, Collins's mother provided some momentary drama, when she refused to sign the National Letter of Intent (LOI) for him to attend school at Arkansas, and then ran away with the LOI. She wanted Collins to stay close to home and attend the University of Miami. The drama ended the next day when Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema faxed another LOI to Collins, which was signed by his father.[5][6]

College career[edit]

Collins played for the University of Arkansas from 2013 to 2015.[7] He started his career as the first true freshman in SEC history to rush for 300 yards in his first three games.[8][9][10][11] Splitting time with Jonathan Williams, he finished the year with 1,026 rushing yards on 190 carries with four touchdowns.[12] For his play he was named the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year.[13]

In his sophomore season in 2014, Collins ran for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns on 204 carries, while still splitting time with Williams.[14] He also helped lead Arkansas to a Texas Bowl victory over the Texas Longhorns.[15]

Williams went down with an injury before the 2015 season, so Collins became the featured back in Bret Bielema's offense. He started every game his junior year, and on November 7, 2015, with 108 yards against Ole Miss, Collins became only the third player in SEC history to rush for 1,000 plus yards in three seasons, joining Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden.[16] Collins finished his junior season with a career-high 1,577 yards, and a school-record 20 rushing touchdowns.[17] He was named second-team all-SEC, mostly because Alabama's Derrick Henry and LSU's Leonard Fournette outrushed him and were All-Americans. Collins led Arkansas to a Liberty Bowl victory over Kansas State on January 2, 2016. He finished the 45-23 victory with 185 yards and three rushing touchdowns, earning MVP honors.[18]

Collins is second on the Razorback career rushing yards list (3,703), behind only Darren McFadden (4,590).[19]

Collegiate statistics[edit]

Alex Collins Rushing Receiving
Season Team Conf Class Pos GP Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
2013 Arkansas SEC FR RB 12 190 1,026 5.4 4 11 63 5.7 0
2014 Arkansas SEC SO RB 13 204 1,100 5.4 12 3 9 3.0 0
2015 Arkansas SEC JR RB 13 271 1,577 5.8 20 13 95 7.3 0
Career 38 665 3,703 5.6 36 27 167 6.2 0

Professional career[edit]

On January 10, 2016, Collins penned an open letter to Arkansas fans announcing his intention to forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.[20] He was projected to be third round pick and was ranked the third best running back by prior to the combine.[21] He attended the NFL Combine and completed nearly all of the required drills, but chose to not perform the short shuttle or three-cone drill due to a headache. His combine performance was described as underwhelming and mediocre. On March 16, 2016, Collins opted to participate at Arkansas' pro day, along with teammates Hunter Henry, Brandon Allen, Jonathan Williams, Denver Kirkland, Mitchell Loewen, Sebastian Tretola, and five others. He performed positional drills and added four inches to his vertical, finishing with a 32½.[22] On April 12, 2016, it was reported that Collins had a pre-draft visit with representatives from the Miami Dolphins.[23] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Collins was projected to be a third or fourth round pick by the majority of NFL draft experts and analysts. He was ranked the fifth best running back in the draft by Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Focus.[24] Collins was also ranked the tenth best running back by[25][26]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 10 in
(1.78 m)
217 lb
(98 kg)
30+14 in
(0.77 m)
9+14 in
(0.23 m)
4.59 s 1.62 s 2.70 s 28.5 in
(0.72 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
18 reps
Values from NFL Combine[27]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

The Seattle Seahawks selected Collins in the fifth round (171st overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.[28] He was the 13th running back selected in the 2016 NFL Draft and one of three running backs the Seattle Seahawks drafted in 2016, along with C. J. Prosise (third round, 90th overall) and Zac Brooks (seventh round, 247th overall). His former teammate and backup at Arkansas, Jonathan Williams was selected before him by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round (156th overall).[29]


On May 6, 2016, Collins signed a four-year deal worth $2.2 million overall with a $184,000 bonus.[30]

Upon arriving at the Seattle Seahawks' training camp, Collins began competing with Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael, C. J. Prosise, Zac Brooks, and Troymaine Pope for the role as the starting running back after it was left vacant by the retirement of Marshawn Lynch.[31][32][33] Collins had an impressive training camp was given a chance to showcase his abilities after Thomas Rawls missed the starts of training camp while still recovering from injury and C. J. Prosise missed a stretch of camp with a hamstring injury.[34] After a mediocre preseason, head coach Pete Carroll named Collins the fourth running back on the Seattle Seahawks' depth chart behind Christine Michael, Thomas Rawls, and C. J. Prosise.[35]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Seattle Seahawks' Week 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, but had no gain on two carries in their 9–3 loss.[36] The next week, Collins had 12 rushing yards on four carries and made the first two receptions of his career for 19 receiving yards in a 37-18 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He caught his first career pass from Russell Wilson and gained nine-yards in the first quarter.[37][38] On October 16, 2016, Collins had a nine-yard reception and one carry for a two-yard gain and the first touchdown of his career during Seattle's 26-24 defeat over the Atlanta Falcons.[39] Collins finished his rookie season with 31 carries for 125 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, in 11 games. He also caught 11 passes for 84 receiving yards. Collins also had eight carries for rushing 27 yards and three receptions for 28 receiving yards in two playoff games.[40][41]

After a 10-5-1 season, the Seattle Seahawks finished atop the NFC West and received a playoff berth.[42] On January 7, 2017, Collins had six carries for 13 rushing yards and one 11-yard reception in the Seahawks' 26-6 victory over the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card Round.[43] They lost the following game to the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 36-20 in the Divisional Round.[44]


Collins competed with Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, Chris Carson, Mike Davis, C. J. Prosise, and J. D. McKissic throughout training camp for the job as starting running back.[45] On August 30, 2017, it was reported that the Seahawks were fielding trade offers for Collins and cornerback Jeremy Lane. The Seattle Seahawks had no role for Collins after Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, and C. J. Prosise were slated to have the bulk of the carries.[46]

On September 2, 2017, Collins was waived by the Seahawks.[47]

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

On September 5, 2017, Collins was signed to the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad. The Baltimore Ravens signed Collins and former Chicago Bears' running back Jeremy Langford to provide depth after Kenneth Dixon tore his meniscus in training camp.[48]

On September 16, 2017, Collins was promoted to the active roster after Danny Woodhead was injured in the season-opener and was estimated to miss four-six weeks.[49] Head coach John Harbaugh named him the Ravens' third running back on the depth chart, behind Terrance West and Javorius Allen. The following day, Collins made his Baltimore Ravens' debut and had seven carries for 42 rushing yards and one fumble in the 24–10 victory over the Cleveland Browns.[50] On October 10, 2017, Collins earned his first career start against the Pittsburgh Steelers and finished the 26–9 loss with nine carries for 82 rushing yards and a fumble.[51] During a Week 8 matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football, he rushed for a career high of 113-yards on 18 carries and also caught two passes for 30-yards in the Ravens' 40–0 victory. Although Danny Woodhead returned in Week 9, Collins remained the starting running back and maintained his carries.[52][53]

On November 19, 2017, Collins made his fifth consecutive start and rushed for 49 yards on 20 carries, while also scoring his first rushing touchdown of the season on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter of a 23–0 defeat over the Green Bay Packers. He had seven consecutive games without a fumble after analysts criticized him for fumbling twice in three games and worried about his ball security moving forward.[54] On November 27, 2017, he had 16 carries for 60 rushing yards and scored an eight-yard touchdown run in a 23–16 win against the Houston Texans.[55]

The following week, Collins had 75 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards to go along with a career-high two touchdowns in a 44-20 win over the Detroit Lions.[56] In the next game, on Sunday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he ran the ball 18 times for 120 yards and a touchdown, as well as catching two passes for 46 yards, helping the Ravens total 152 yards on the ground. Despite what was arguably the best game of his career so far, the Steelers narrowly escaped with a win in the 38-39 shootout.[57]

Collins led the Ravens in rushing yards for the 2017 season with 973 yards, along with six rushing touchdowns.[58][59]


Collins entered the 2018 season slated as the Ravens starting running back. He started 10 games, recording 411 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, along with 15 receptions for 105 yards and one touchdown. He was placed on injured reserve on December 1, 2018 with a foot injury.[60]


On March 1, 2019, Collins was waived by the Ravens after he was arrested following a car crash that morning.[61] On October 3, 2019, he pleaded guilty to possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana and possession of a handgun in a vehicle, and received a sentence of 18 months of unsupervised probation.[62] He was suspended three weeks by the NFL on November 1, 2019, for violating the league's personal conduct policy.[63] He was reinstated from suspension on November 19, 2019.[64]

Seattle Seahawks (second stint)[edit]

On November 4, 2020, Collins was signed to the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad.[65] He was elevated to the active roster on November 7, 2020, November 14, 2020, and January 2, 2021, for the team's weeks 9, 10, and 17 games against the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, and San Francisco 49ers, and reverted to the practice squad after each game.[66][67][68] He scored a touchdown against the Rams.[69] Against the 49ers, he ran the ball for 29 yards on 5 carries, including a game-sealing eight-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes left. He was elevated again for the team's wild card playoff game against the Rams, and reverted to the practice squad again following the game.[70] His practice squad contract with the team expired after the season on January 18, 2021.[71] He re-signed with the team on February 24, 2021.[72] He made the Seahawks 53-man roster as the third-string running back.


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External links[edit]