It's common practice for football recruits to say their college choice is based primarily on academics. Whether or not that popular refrain is true is often up for debate. But when Bishop McNamara safety and honor roll student Milan Collins says academics were a major factor in his choice, you believe it.
"You can only go so far in the game of football, so when that curtain call comes, when you have to wrap it up, for me, it may be my senior year in college. I want to give myself the opportunity to get a job and provide for myself and my family," said Collins, who will sign with Maryland next month. "Pursuing this degree in kinesiology will give me the opportunity to pursue my goal to go to medical school and become a doctor. That's the main reason why I'm going to Maryland. They have this direct line to one of the premier hospitals [Johns Hopkins] in the world. I think that's the main reason why I picked Maryland."
Collins, the son of a computer scientist and a nurse, said the academics and networking opportunities Maryland provided "blew him away." Collins landed scholarship offers from Boston College, North Carolina State, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia, according to Rivals.com, but the three-star prospect maintains that academics "pushed my decision to go to Maryland."
Outside the Bishop McNamara classrooms, Collins was a dynamic dual-threat quarterback and free safety for the Mustangs. The future Terp said Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart likes his "IQ for the game."
"They like my size and athletic ability to go from offense to defense," Collins said. "The success is what they like. If I come in and know the ins and outs of the playbook and am able to make tackles in open space, just be a field general at free safety, they say I have a great opportunity."
Here's an introduction to Collins:
Name: Milan Collins
Birthdate: April 21, 1995
Hometown: Slidell, La. and Waldorf
Nickname: "Some of my friends call me Superman. And I got the nickname 'The Maryland Flash' at a camp … my sophomore year when I ran a 4.5-flat. The coaches called me 'The Maryland Flash.'"
High School: Bishop McNamara
Senior statistics: Approximately 1,500 yards passing, 500 rushing, 300 receiving, 15 total touchdowns. 60 tackles.
Rankings: Rivals.com -- Three-star prospect, No. 20 player in Maryland, No. 73 athlete. Scout.com -- Three-star prospect, No. 42 safety. ESPN.com -- Three-star prospect, No. 32 player in Maryland, No. 151 athlete, 72 rating. 247Sports.com -- Three-star prospect, No. 26 player in Maryland, No. 67 athlete, 85 rating.
Bench max: 315
40-yard dash: 4.49
Runner-up school: "I'm not sure. Great question. A lot of great schools extended the opportunity for me to extend my football career and get a good education, so I'm not sure where I would've went. I know a lot of great schools out there extended that opportunity."
Other schools considered: "Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, West Virginia and Syracuse, with them being my first offer."
Favorite NFL player: "Ed Reed is the best free safety to ever play the game. Ray Lewis and Cam Newton are up there [for favorite players] as well."
Favorite NFL team: "I really don't have one. I just love the game, love to watch it, love how there's a surprise team each year, someone who makes a late push to get to the Super Bowl. I really don't have a favorite team. I just love the excitement of the game."
Favorite all-time Terp: "E.J. Henderson was a great player. Vernon Davis was a great player. Torrey Smith was a great player. I really don't have a favorite, per se. I just hope to go to Maryland and be one of the greatest of all time and have some kid say I'm his favorite player to ever go to Maryland. When I get there, I'm hopeful I can be the greatest player that ever played college football."
Favorite music: "I listen to basically everything – slow music to relax me and then I'll speed it up to get me hyped for a game. J. Cole and Michael Jackson are artists who I listen to."
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite book: "Talent is Overrated" by Geoffrey Colvin
Favorite TV show: "ESPN shows like Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, SportsCenter, College Gameday. Anything revolving around sports is what I usually watch."
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite high school class: Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry
Other high school sports: "Ran track and played basketball my freshman year."
Hobbies: "Just relaxing with my family, working out, listening to music, playing with my dog, things like that."
Intended major: Kinesiology
Something that not many people know about you: "Not too many people know I burnt my left hand when I was 1 year old. I brought a TV down on myself when I was 3 years old. I had a pretty crazy childhood."
Best football moment: "My senior year playing Georgetown Prep, both defenses were playing well. With about three minutes to go, I threw the game-winning touchdown 80 yards. That was the biggest thrill I had throughout my high school career."
Role model: "My role models would be my two parents, basically for all the things they've done for me, stressing the importance of academics, character and leadership, and just being there for me every step of the way through the process. I know they will continue to support me as I take the next step in college. Those are my role models."
Why Maryland? "Maryland gave me an opportunity to see the field as a freshman. They've given me the opportunity to get a great education. The networking system for Maryland is tops. The opportunity to do a straight line to Johns Hopkins Medical School and Hospital is the main reason why I'm going to Maryland."