Arkansas Razorbacks with plenty of options to replace Jonathan Williams

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Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Alex Collins (3) rushes against the Ole Miss Rebels at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Mississippi 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Collins

The South Plantation High School four-star standout was recruited by two of Arkansas’ former coaches, Charlie Partridge and Joel Thomas, and was considered to be the 2013 signing day coup for the Razorbacks out of the state of Florida. Most will remember Collins for his signing day drama that involved his mother taking his letter of intent papers and refusing to sign them. Collins eventually had his father sign the papers and made his decision public wearing a camo suit. Since then he has been trusted with toting the rock for the Razorbacks on a consistent basis.

With Bielema releasing the details of Williams’ injury and recovery Alex will have to step up as the one true leader of this running back unit. It also means that he, as well as the staff, will have to put extra emphasis on him staying healthy this season.

Collins’ responsibilities won’t end on the field or at practice. Collins will have to be the high character young man who coach Bielema expects him to be in the classroom as well as in making the right decisions outside of the classroom. It’s no secret to Arkansas fans that Collins has found himself in Bielema’s doghouse from time-to-time for being late to meetings or whatever non-football related mess he’s gotten himself into at the time.

In order for the Razorbacks to break through this season, as expected in western division, Collins will have to be the cog that makes the wheels turn. That said, he’s seemingly taken his role far more serious since the hiring of former Oklahoma State running backs coach Jamal Singleton. The relationship between the two has blossomed over the course of the spring till now and Collins will have to form more of a workman-like approach to his game preparation going forward to get to the next level.

Collins has slimmed down a bit to about 215 pounds while working on his explosiveness and top-end speed during the off-season. If Collins can tear off several runs that look this one below during the season he, as well as the Razorbacks, could find themselves sitting pretty at the end of the season.

Next: Kody Walker