The incoming freshman joins quarterback Sam Huard, receivers Jabez Tinae and Junior Alexander and athlete Justin Baker as Lancers grabbing the attention of Division I programs.
A simple tweet had many searching for more information on Kieran Collins. The incoming Kennedy Catholic freshman announced via his Twitter account he received a scholarship offer from Florida State.
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Collins is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound receiver. He trains with Heir Football, which helped facilitate interest from Florida State. First-year FSU coach Willie Taggart is also familiar with Pacific Northwest talent as the former Oregon coach who signed Garfield receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison in February.
Kennedy Catholic, a small private school in Burien, was already pegged as a strong contender in Class 4A because of sophomore quarterback Sam Huard, who was named National Freshman of the Year by Maxpreps.com. The son of former NFL and Washington quarterback Damon Huard threw for 3,432 yards and 34 touchdowns last season.
Huard has offers from schools like UW and Florida. In addition to Collins, Huard will be throwing to sophomore receivers Jabez Tinae and Junior Alexander with junior athlete Justin Baker disrupting opponents’ schemes on both sides of the ball. All garnered Division I scholarship offers during the offseason.
“Kieran already looks the part right now and he is in eighth-grade and hasn’t even played a game for us,” Kennedy coach Sheldon Cross said. “Now our guys will have different expectations for four years. That’s a long period of time to be thinking about these things (scholarships) that really don’t exist until they’re in college. Last year was an eye-opener in seeing how everybody treated our quarterback and the best thing is not to hide from it. …In the spring, college coaches came by everyday. It’s a madhouse now but a bunch of our guys are doing it together.”
Kennedy Catholic’s influx of talent could help in its North Puget Sound League’s overriding goal of becoming more competitive within Class 4A football. The league will enter its third season this fall after a combined 1-16 showing in the postseason the past two years.
The NPSL announced in January plans to reorganize its divisions to a tiered system based on performance. Kennedy Catholic, which was 6-4 last season, is in the top division with Kentwood, Todd Beamer, Auburn Riverside, Tahoma and Enumclaw.
Football practice across Washington state begins Aug. 15. The Lancers’ season opener is at Chief Sealth on Aug. 31.
“I think we have a chance to be pretty special even though we’re still really young,” Cross said.