Brand and culture might be the two biggest buzzwords in college football. When building a program, coaches are looking for the right ingredients from a personnel standpoint to make sure that every individual brought into the facility can perform at their peak ability.
New defensive backs coach Chris Collins is excited to join a proven brand in Lexington.
“Right now the brand is a program that’s known for developing talent,” Collins told reporters on Friday. “That’s the brand. You got an opportunity to be at an elite level and play in a elite conference.”
Collins was the recruiting coordinator for Georgia State over the last two seasons while recruiting Metro Atlanta, South Florida, and North Carolina for the Sun Belt program. While in Atlanta, the secondary coach landed 22 commitments and was promoted to recruiting coordinator at the age of 30. The culture built by head coach Shawn Elliott allowed the program to reach three bowl games in four years while having just one postseason berth before he arrived in 2017. Having a solid foundation will lead to success on the recruiting trail.
“That brand of Kentucky football has continued to build,” said Collins. “I think Coach Stoops has done an amazing job of building culture and a foundation. Now you’re starting to see those layers stack up year after year after year of that phenomenal culture and foundation that’s been in place. Outside looking in, an immediate draw.”
The recruiting results have continued to pile in. The Wildcats reeled in a top-25 class in 2020 while the program has owned the state of Kentucky with 16 signees in the last three classes. The uptick on the recruiting trail has tied directly to NFL Draft results as Kentucky has produced 13 picks in the last three seasons. The recruiting, player development, and secondary background of Mark Stoops had Collins very excited to join the brand.
“Outside of him being a legend in the game of football — in terms of defensive back play and in terms of defensive play overall — we really didn’t have any connections,” said Collins. “I knew him from afar and definitely admiring his work throughout his career as a defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach, so on and so forth. Then as a head coach here has done a phenomenal job.”
Collins has been a fast riser in his career and now the young assistant has a chance to grow and develop under a head coach with a strong secondary background to go with proven program development skills. That is exactly a place where an assistant like Collins can thrive as the Kentucky football brand continues to grow.
“Coach Stoops done a phenomenal job of building the program, and continuing to develop the brand,” said Collins.