At Pac-12 media days this summer, I asked Oregon State running back Storm Barrs-Woods about playing with true freshman quarterback Seth Collins. Barrs-Woods, a rare veteran on a young Beaver roster, said Collins brought both youthful exuberance and savvy beyond his age to the position.
“He’s a guy who’s wise beyond his years, and his work ethic is insane,” Barrs-Woods said of Collins. “I’m a senior and I like to think my work regimen is pretty complicated. He came in and immediately caught up to my work regimen.”
In Friday’s loss to Stanford, Collins showed flashes — sustained flashes — of the next great Pac-12 quarterback. Fox Sports 1 color commentator Joel Klatt referred to Collins as “a special player.” Who am I to disagree?
Such lofty praise is a lot to heap on a freshman, but Seth Collins jumped headlong into big expectations from the get-go as an early enrollee in the spring.
He was asked to fill some gigantic shoes from the outset of his college career, taking over for the Pac-12’s all-time leading passer, Sean Mannion.
Collins’ predecessor Mannion is not the quarterback to whom I’d draw comparisons. Seth Collins looks more like vintage Chuckie Keeton when the dynamic, dual-threat playmaker was operating under Gary Andersen at Utah State.
He has the wheels. Collins can and will run — and jump — as the defense dictates.
— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) September 24, 2015
— Danny Moran (@DannyJMoran) September 23, 2015
But more impressive Friday was Collins’ command of the deep ball.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 26, 2015
In that sense, the revamped Oregon State still had some Mannion in it.
Seth Collins is all of four games into his college career. He’ll face the growing pains inevitable for any freshman — and has already encountered them some. Oregon State’s program-wide changes under Andersen and his staff mean inevitable challenges.
But Barrs-Woods’ projection of Collins’ future in the summer is holding true into the fall: “The sky’s the limit.”