Phillips quarterback and Sun-Times’ Player of the Year Dewayne Collins gave his verbal commitment to Northern Iowa after decommitting from Illinois State.
Collins was committed to the Red Birds for most of his senior season but reopened his recruitment due to an academic admissions issues two weeks before national signing day. In just a few days, Collins added offers from Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois and took official visits to both schools.
“After talking it over with my mom and my coaches, we all had realized that going to Northern Iowa or Southern Illinois both would be good spots for me because I could play quarterback and they have lots of looks on offense,” Collins said. “So, playing football wasn’t the only reason why I picked Northern Iowa.”
For Collins, it came down to what the school had to offer him and spending time taking a look at his expected major, exercise science.
“It was more about the feeling I had about it. When I went to Southern it was a great visit, it made it really hard to choose. But at the same time I had a really good time at Northern [Iowa],” Collins said. “When I talked to teachers at both schools, the professor in exercise science at Northern Iowa made me want to be in his class right now.
“I like that about them. It was a great feeling. Then I thought about living there, at Northern I had that chance to get out and be in a different area, to meet new people.”
Originally, the 6-2, 185-pound signal-caller was slated to come into college as an athlete, but at Northern Iowa he will get the chance to play exclusively quarterback.
“When I was committed to Illinois State, the coaches from Nothern Iowa were always asking me to check them out.” Collins said. “They worked hard to get me there. Southern did the same thing, as soon as they found out that I decommitted, coach Hill got right on it. He made the decision really hard.
“When Northern Iowa told me they wanted me strictly as a quarterback, I got excited. And from the beginning I said if Northern Iowa gave me an offer I’ll go. And my mom reminded me of that. She told me, that I said if they offered I said I would go there. Even when I was talking to [Southern Illinois], I was thinking that I hoped Northern would call me. I felt comfortable there,” Collins said.
Collins’ family has played an important part in his recruiting process as well as Phillips’ coaching staff.
“They said from the start, that either school would be a great fit for me. They wanted to let me be a man and make the decision on my own, after I made the decision they said they were excited for me,” Collins said.