Alex Collins, a former NFL running back who played for the Seattle and Baltimore Ravens, passed away on August 13, 2023, at 28. According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, he was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in Florida.
Collins was a talented and charismatic player who brought joy and passion to football. He was also a beloved teammate, friend, and family member who touched many lives with his kindness and generosity. This article will pay tribute to his life and career and remember memorable moments on and off the field.
Who Was Alex Collins?
Collins was born on August 26, 1994, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He attended South Plantation High School, where he excelled in football and track. He was a four-star recruit who received offers from several colleges, including Miami, Florida State, and Wisconsin. He ultimately chose to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks under head coach Bret Bielema.
How Did Alex Collins Perform in College?
Collins had a stellar college career in Arkansas, where he rushed for over 1,000 yards in his three seasons. He became the third player in SEC history to accomplish this feat, joining Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden. He also set the school record for most career rushing touchdowns with 36. He was named a consensus All-SEC selection in 2015 and earned the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back. He decided to forego his senior year and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
What Was Alex Collins’s NFL Journey Like?
Collins was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 171st overall pick. He played sparingly as a rookie, appearing in 11 games and rushing for 125 yards and one touchdown. He was released by the Seahawks before the start of the 2017 season and signed with the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad.
Collins quickly earned a spot on the Ravens’ active roster and became their starting running back by Week 4. He had a breakout season 2017, finishing with 973 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 212 carries. He also showed off his Irish dancing skills, which he learned from the daughter of his high school coach, to celebrate his scores. He became a fan favorite in Baltimore for his hard-nosed running style and upbeat personality.
Collins started the 2018 season as the Ravens’ lead back but suffered a foot injury that ended his season after ten games. He rushed for 411 yards and seven touchdowns on 114 carries. He was arrested in March 2019 on drug and gun charges and was released by the Ravens. He did not play in the NFL in 2019.
Collins returned to the Seahawks in 2020-2021, signing with their practice squad in November 2020. He was promoted to the active roster in December 2020 and played three games. He rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. His last NFL game was on January 9, 2021, when he scored a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
Collins played with the United States Football League’s Memphis Showboats earlier this year. He was one of several former NFL players who joined the newly revived league that aimed to provide an alternative to the NFL.
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How Did Alex Collins Impact Others?
Collins’s death shocked and saddened many football fans and beyond. His former teammates, coaches, friends, and fans expressed their condolences and tributes on social media and other platforms. They remembered him as a joyful, kind, and genuine person who positively impacted everyone he met.
Russell Wilson, Collins’ quarterback with the Seahawks, tweeted: “To one of my favorite teammates. You brought joy to every huddle. Keep Dancin’ in Heaven. Love you, AC. Forever missed.”
To one of my favorite teammates.
You brought joy to every huddle.
Keep Dancin’ in Heaven.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) August 15, 2023
John Harbaugh, Collins’ head coach with the Ravens, said in a statement: “Alex was a joy to be around and someone whose light shined brightly. I’ll always remember him for being a great teammate who had an uplifting spirit that impacted everyone he encountered. He was also a smart player who ran with unlimited determination, and he contributed to a lot of our success during his time in Baltimore.”
“Alex was a joy to be around and someone whose light shined brightly.”
Coach Harbaugh on Alex Collins. pic.twitter.com/X5u8va0VFA
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 15, 2023
Collins’ family also released a statement via the Seahawks: “Alex was cherished by his family and friends as well as supporters from all around the world. All who truly know him can attest to his drive, determination, and larger-than-life personality. We kindly request your thoughts and prayers for our family during this difficult time. We ask for privacy as we navigate through our grief.”
Collins’ agent, Kelli Masters, wrote on Instagram: “My heart is broken, and I am just at a loss. Alex you were so loved by so many. You impacted lives with your joy and positive, caring spirit … and that big smile.”
What is His Legacy?
Collins’ legacy will live on through his family, friends, fans, and the many people he inspired with his talent, passion, and character. He was a remarkable football player and an even more remarkable human being. He will be dearly missed but never forgotten. Rest in peace, Alex Collins.