Irish dance lessons help former Arkansas RB Alex Collins get in shape
Alex Collins found a unique way to work on his cardio and footwork.
The former Arkansas running back has taken up lessons in Irish dance, and it could help him get jiggy into the end zone for his future NFL team.
Doug Gatewood, Collins’ high school coach in Florida, told Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Collins can be somewhat eccentric.
“I’d love to tell you everything about him is about football, but it’s not,” said Gatewood. “That kid has got more unique interests and diversification of what he likes. Right now — and it’s weird how he gets into things — but right now he is all hooked up into Irish dance.”
Gatewood said Collins offered to take his daughter to a dance class while the coach had to work. Collins, who is back in South Florida to train, became intrigued by what he saw, so he gave it a try.
“Now he goes every day, whenever they have practice,” Gatewood said. “He does it and he wants to learn it and it’s crazy. But that’s him. He took up bowling, and I bet you he’s got like a 185-190 average and he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. He’s bowling with two fingers.”
Collins recently said at a press conference the dance lessons have helped him with his cardio, in addition to making him more nimble on his feet.
“It’s conditioning,” Collins said. “(The other dancers), they laugh at me because they don’t break a sweat. And just from the warm ups I’m already tired, shirt soaked. I bring a beach towel to keep drying off when I go. I go at least three times a week.”
Collins rushed for 1,577 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. He opted to forego his senior year and declared for the NFL Draft. He’s only the third running back in SEC history to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first three seasons.
Collins is rated the third-best running back in this year’s draft class behind Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott and Alabama’s Derrick Henry, according to NFL.com.