Collins shows speed in Ole Miss secondary

Published 8:30 pm Sunday, July 28, 2013

Click. The stopwatch goes off and then the race is on. 10, 20, 30, and finally 40-yards is complete.

The winner, like always, is DeHendret Collins, but today he wasn’t racing another human being. He was racing time itself. 4.33 and 4.37 were the times he ran, almost jaw-dropping to see and eye-popping to watch. One of the fastest men in the SEC resides in Bude and he’s more than just a speed freak, he’s known as D…the secret weapon of the Ole Miss Rebels defense this season.

“I’m just trying to work hard every day and listen to my coaches and get better,” said Collins, who returns to the Rebels secondary as a cornerback. “Last year I played mostly Husky, which is like a version of Nickelback and Safety. Now I’m back at corner and its a natural position to me.”

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Collins earned All-American honors at Co-Lin Community College his freshman and sophomore seasons as a cornerback, and showed flashes of his ball-hawking skills last season by leading Ole Miss in interceptions (3) and pass deflections (15).

He returns to a secondary that is puzzling to say the least. Ole Miss doesn’t know who its starters will be yet in large part due to the academic standing of Nick Brassell and the injury rehab of Charles Sawyer.

If Brassell and Sawyer can’t go, then Collins and Pascagoula native SenQuez Golson are the cornerback tandem that will see the most work when practice begins Aug. 3. Collins and Golson are considered the fastest on the team and both have showed glimpses of their playmaking abilities in the past.

“We feed off each other,” said Collins. “The whole defense feeds off each other.”

Ole Miss uses a secondary rotation based on its defensive coverage. Last year the idea was to keep fresh players on the field at all times.

Collins speed and athletic pedigree is one to behold. During spring drills he was a lockdown cornerback that drew praise from his Ole Miss coaches. This offseason he showcased a 36-Inch vertical jump and a 10.4 broad jump along with a legendary 40-yard dash video that blew Facebook, Twitter, and NFL scouting websites up.

He may not have the explosive Super Hero leaping ability of his older cousin, Jamie Collins, a rookie linebacker for the New England Patriots. Jamie broke NFL Combine records but he does have cat-like quickness.

Where Jamie is ‘Spider Man,’ DeHendret is ‘Flash.’ 4.3 in the 40, doesn’t always happen. He did it twice.

“God blessed me with speed,” said DeHendret. “I’m trying to get the most out of it on this football field and work on getting faster too.”

The SEC has been warned. ‘Flash’ is coming to a Stadium near you this fall.

Get your popcorn ready.