Alex Collins, the Seahawks' fifth-round pick in the draft, is a big and powerful runner, but he also is light on his feet as a dancer.
The Seahawks drafted Arkansas running back Alex Collins in the fifth round on Saturday, but they also drafted Irish dancer Mitchell Findley, and if that doesn’t make any sense, let us explain.
Collins, a powerful 217-pound running back who Seahawks scout Aaron Hineline described as a big, physical and violent runner, spent part of his preparation for the NFL draft Irish dancing. Collins decided that if he was going to Irish dance, he wanted to watch the best, Michael Flatley, he of the Lord of the Dance fame. Inspired by Flatley, Collins adopted an alter ego for when he Irish danced — Mitchell Findley, or Mitch Finn for short.
“When I got into it, I just wanted to watch the best and learn from him so I watched Lord of the Dance on YouTube a few times and kind of got it from there,” Collins said.
Collins said Irish dancing was partly for fun, partly to help with football. “I’m always on my toes so it builds the lower body, the calf muscles and whatnot,” he said. “And it’s a lot of fun working with them and learning something new, especially being that I didn’t think I could do it.”
Seahawks in 2016 draft
Round 1, Pick 31
OL Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M | Bio
Round 2, Pick 49
DT Jarran Reed, Alabama | Bio
Round 3, Pick 90
RB C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame | Bio
Round 3, Pick 94
TE Nick Vannett, Ohio State | Bio
Round 3, Pick 97
OL Rees Odhiambo, Boise State | Bio
Round 5, Pick 147
DT Quinton Jefferson, Maryland | Bio
Round 5, Pick 171
RB Alex Collins, Arkansas | Bio
Round 6, Pick 215
C Joey Hunt, TCU | Bio
Round 7, Pick 243
WR Kenny Lawler, Cal | Bio
Round 7, Pick 247
RB Zac Brooks, Clemson | Bio
Collins said his “little sister” — the daughter of his high school coach, who Collins is extremely close with — challenged him to get into Irish dancing. So he thought, ‘Why not?’ He ended up really enjoying it.
“Hey, he’s got great feet, so if that’s what it takes, he’s doing something right,” Hineline said.
Collins checks off what the Seahawks want in a running back, both in style and in size. But he also is unique in personality.
“He’s a different kid now and different that you wouldn’t expect,” Hineline said. “He likes country music, Irish dance, that kind of stuff. It was a pleasant surprise.”