By Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Before the 2014 season, Flanagan high school was a relative virgin as it pertained to Florida high school football playoffs. Only once in the school’s history had it made it into the playoffs (2013) and getting to the state semifinals was stuff that other teams did. In this season, one of those other teams became Flanagan.
One of the catalysts for this odyssey into new territory was a high powered offense led by senior quarterback Ryan Stanley. Stanley racked up record passing yards to a bevy of talented receivers. One of Stanley’s important targets during the Falcon’s major run in the post season was junior wide receiver Isaiah Collins. Collins came up big in the 3rd round of the playoffs hauling in a pair of touchdown passes of 49 and 32 yards. On display was Collins’ cat quickness and ability to find the soft areas of the defense. To the naked eye route running seems to be something that anyone can do. However, those in the know realize that there’s an art to deciphering the workings of a defense designed to stop the offense from having success. Collins has mastered that art and can find the loophole in any coverage and attack it.
Collins’ has been playing football since he could stand on his own two feet. Tutored in the game since day one by his uncle, former University of Miami quarterback Ryan Collins, the junior wideout has little trouble figuring out the plans of the defense and applying his athletic skill to debunk them. Collins’ was solid all season long but really saved his best work when it was needed most and that was during Flangan’s playoff run. As teams became more determined to put the clamps on senior wide receivers Emonee Spence and Robert Foy, Collins stepped up and pulled more than his own weight. Ryan Collins is the offensive coordinator for the Falcons and has carefully crafted an offensive attack that shreds the weakness of opposing defenses. His nephew quickly became a serious problem for teams trying to apply coverage to him after the fact. Long schooled on the intricacies of effective route running, Collins has mastered those tools not only through tutelage from his uncle and prolonged film study but through intensive off-season training. Collins spent a significant part of his off-season working with former University of Miami wide receiver and now coach Kevin Beard. The off-season work plus the seasoning by the Flanagan coaching staff, has made Collins a player to watch as the Falcons attempt to defend their district title in 2015.
Standing at 5’7″, Collins is not the athlete that would catch your eye in the pre-event stretches at an off-season camp but once the action starts, you can’t help but notice all the important things like releases vs. press at the line of scrimmage, use of deception in route running and catching the ball away from the body. Collins is as adept at those factors that are important to a receiver as anyone in his 2016 class. When the moments get big for Flanagan, Collins seems to get bigger.