Collins, Guy visit Brookhaven SaturdayPublished 12:40pm Friday, March 7, 2014
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For Ray Guy and Jamie Collins, the last few months have been a roller coaster to say the least.
The two fan favorites will take time out from their busy schedules Saturday to sign autographs and meet fans at KDMC Performance Center’s ‘Legends Night’ in Brookhaven starting at 6:30 and ending at 8.
Guy, who recently was named to Pro Football’s Hall of Fame, will be inducted in August during a ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
A former first round pick by the Oakland Raiders as a punter, Guy is a three time Super Bowl champion and NFL legend for his incredible hang time as a punter.
“I’m excited about Saturday,” said Guy. “I just got back from California doing a signing, but I know Brookhaven well and have been there a lot so this will be fun to see USM family and friends.”
The same can be said for Jamie Collins. The Quentin native in nearby Franklin County will be making his first public NFL signing since becoming the New England Patriots starting outside linebacker during his rookie season.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday and seeing everyone,” said Collins. “This is my first signing, so it’s exciting.”
Collins is one of Mississippi’s legendary high school football players. He led Franklin High to the 2006 Class 3A State Championship as a quarterback/safety. During his three years as a starter at FCHS he complied a 37-4 worksheet with two South State Championships and a State Championship.
“Jamie could do things on a football field I’ve never seen anyone else do,” said current Ole Brook assistant coach Jeremy Loy who coached Collins in 2006 and 2007 as an assistant at FC.
“He was a joy to coach. And just a special athlete.”
Collins legend grew in other sports too. He once dunked in a high school playoff game ’10 times’ during his senior season in 2009 against Newton County. He was All-State in football, basketball and track & field.
Last year at the NFL Combine, Collins showcased his athletic abilities in front of the nation. He set a combine Broad Jump record with an 11.7 leap. He also had a vertical jump of 42-inches and ran the 40-yard dash at 4.59. He did all this at an eye-popping 250-pounds on his 6-foot, 4-inch frame.
“What he did at the NFL combine will be talked about for years,” said Rickey O’Quinn Jr. who coached Collins in high school in both football and basketball. “He’s a athletic freak. We all knew that watching him do windmills (dunks) in high school.”
Like Collins, Guy was also a multi-talented athlete in other sports.
Guy was drafted four times by MLB clubs, twice by the Reds and once each by the Astros and Braves.
“To the day I die, I’ll say he (Ray Guy) is the best college pitcher I’ve ever saw,” said longtime Chicago Cubs scout Jim ‘Crawdaddy’ Crawford. “He was a natural athlete.”
Guy played both baseball and football at USM. He was a lights out pitcher with a fastball that hit 98 mph on scouts’ radar guns.
Few also know that Guy was an outstanding defensive back at USM. He still holds the school record for 8 interceptions in a season and ranks second in career picks with 18.
“This is something special having two amazing athletes like Ray Guy and Jamie Collins in one place together,” said longtime USM fan and alumnus Chip Strudivent. “Ray being a Hall of Famer and Jamie just beginning his career. Two class acts.”
And come Saturday night both will be in the same building at the same time in what promises to be one great event.