JUCO linebacker Raymond Collins commits to Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. — It only takes one person to change a life, one person to believe in you. And in the case of Jones College linebacker Raymond Collins that person just might be Rebels’ defensive coordinator Pete Golding who was the first to offer the JUCO LB.
Collins visited Oxford this weekend and committed Monday. We asked what helped him choose the Rebels.
“Ole Miss was the first school to give me a chance to play D1 and there was a lot of love around the campus.”
Raymond Collins on why he chose Ole Miss
Collins, a class of 2024 athlete, is the fifth player to commit to Ole Miss this month and the third prospect the Rebels have landed in the last week.
Coach Golding has been a force since he arrived in Oxford, determined to usher in a new era of the Rebel defense. He has hit the recruiting trail with vengeance and continues to show what separates him from being not just a great recruiter — but an elite one.
Golding’s instinct for talent goes beyond the obvious picks of the top 4-star and 5-star kids. Just a little over a month ago, that ability to spot potential playmakers led Golding to be the first to offer Collins, the former Harrison Central (Gulfport, Miss.) standout.
Not only does the 6-2, 235 linebacker have an SEC build, he also has speed. He has been clocked at a 4.62 40-yard dash. During his freshman season at Jones, Collins notched 46 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks.
Collins grew up with a deeply-rooted passion for the game — and was a Mississippi State fan. His Bulldog roots stemmed from his uncle, Fred Collins, who was a star running back in Starkville from 1977-1980.
Bu this past Saturday, Collins was on campus in Oxford with many of the Rebels’ top targets taking in the first week of Spring Ball. He apparently really liked what he saw.
Had an amazing time today at ole miss nun but love🦈👀🤫#HottyToddy @CoachGolding @Lane_Kiffin pic.twitter.com/c6VctszeWc
— Raymond Collins (@Ray22football) March 25, 2023
Coach Kiffin and staff were already winning big in the class of 2024 with top in-state commitments from running back Chris Davis and defensive lineman Jeffery Rush, Jr.
And they weren’t done yet.
Monday, Collins made it official that he is committed to Ole Miss.
Catch me in the O😎 #smoketeam #StayintheSip 🦈 @Lane_Kiffin @CoachGolding @_kbolden pic.twitter.com/u5fbdrSOUY
— Raymond Collins (@Ray22football) March 27, 2023
We caught up with Collins following his announcement and asked him what skills he will bring to the Rebels.
“My biggest ‘x-factor’ is that I’m going to bring a Dawg mentality to the defense and energy to the defense to make it the best in the nation.”
It is really great to see the rise of so much in-state talent deciding to stay home. Of the six commitments Ole Miss has tallied for its 2024 class, five are from Mississippi. And one coach’s belief could very well be just what the Rebels needed as they usher in a new defensive era under Coach Golding, and you can bet Raymond Collins will be a part of that.
Lee Ann is the Director of Recruiting for The Rebel Walk. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist and NFL content writer. She is also the Sr. Editor for MESPORTS digital. Herring-Olvedo is a Brown University graduate who loves good cigars, good games, and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.