In the words of Elijah Collins, Michigan State’s football team has been ‘ramping it up’ at practice now that the Spartans are days away from putting on the pads for the first time since December.
Sept. 30 (Wednesday) is when the pads will finally go on and the redshirt sophomore running back is ready to show his new coaching staff his success from a year ago, as a freshman, was not a fluke.
How could you forget it?
Collins entered the season as the primary backup to junior Connor Heyward, but once he started Week 2 against Western Michigan and rushed for 192 yards, the No. 1 job was his.
It’s a job he knows other’s on his team want.
“People want my spot,” Collins said, “and I know that.”
It’s something Collins used as motivation during the offseason and he’s hoping the work he put in will not only separate him from the other running backs on the Spartans’ roster, but it will help him put on an even bigger show in 2020.
“One thing I specifically wanted to do during the offseason was work on my running mechanics and really get my speed together,” said Collins. “Last year, I had a few big runs, but never really broke any home. That’s one thing I really wanted to focus on, getting that breakaway speed at the end and really finishing my runs to turn them into touchdowns and not just long runs.”
Collins finished the year with 988 yards and five touchdowns to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.