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Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Despite QB’s plea, Collins hung up on NFL

Blindside blocker, cornerback Talib hire same agent, prepare to drill for draft

January 9, 2008

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Anthony Collins and Aqib Talib talk NFL Draft decisions
Collins, Talib speak

Aqib Talib and Anthony Collins talked on Tuesday about foregoing their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft. Enlarge video

Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing fought hard for his blindside.

He knew that All-America left tackle Anthony Collins protected him well this football season. So after last week's Orange Bowl, Reesing pleaded with Collins to stay at KU for another season.

Collins said he would, probably so Reesing would leave him alone. And then he didn't, announcing Monday along with cornerback Aqib Talib that he would skip his senior season and go to the NFL.

"(Reesing) called me (Monday) night, and said, 'You lied to me.' : And he hung up the phone in my face.'" said Collins, sporting a grin and a shiny necklace commemorating his All-America season.

Reesing was kidding. We think.

Either way, there's no turning back now. Collins and Talib have had a day to celebrate their decisions to leave for the NFL, but that's about all they'll get.

The two have hired the same agent and will board a flight this morning for Tempe, Ariz., to train at the Athletes' Performance Institute. It's the same place where several draft hopefuls work out intensely until the NFL Combine in February. Former KU standout Charles Gordon trained there two years ago.

Talib and Collins both feel the month in Arizona will be crucial toward their draft status. Both are projected to be second- or third-round picks, and both desire something even higher.

"Position work is going to be key at the Combine," Talib said. "So I'll just focus on all my position work and catching a lot of balls so I can try to be 100 percent on catching balls at the Combine.

"The most important thing is my speed, getting my 40 time exactly where I want."

Talib and Collins both said the decision was easy, and both credited the Jayhawks' 12-1 season and Orange Bowl victory as one of the reasons it was so simple.

"If we wouldn't have been that successful, I don't think I would have left," Talib said. "Like I said last year, I felt like I couldn't leave like that. It was 6-6 and no bowl game. You can't leave like that. It wasn't a good way to leave.

"But this was a great season for us. : It was like the perfect way to go out."

With the same agent and the same pre-draft plans, Collins and Talib pretty much will stay together for the next few months before the NFL Draft, which starts April 26 in New York.

After that, they probably will split up. Both guys were asked Tuesday where they think they'll get drafted, and both pleaded ignorance.

"Whatever team I get on," Talib said, "they won't be mad I'm playing for them."

Collins, meanwhile, at least had an idea.

"I know Aqib is going to go higher than me," Collins quipped. "I'm following right behind him. That's all I know."

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