I'll block for him anyday
Posted: Sunday April 11, 1999 01:47 PM
Click here if you have a question for Jimmy Kleinsasser. He'll answer a question or two in each week's diary entry.
In the last two months I've spent working out in Dallas, one player I've gotten to know really well is Cecil Collins, a tailback who played at LSU and McNeese State in college. We've worked out together nearly every day and we live in the same apartment complex.
Most people see Cecil as this year's Randy Moss, a prospect who's very talented but comes with some off-field problems. All I can say is that Cecil is one of the greatest guys I've ever met -- I think he's just gotten caught up in some unfortunate situations in the past. He has worked his butt off, and from what I've seen, he's willing to bend over backwards to show everyone he's changed and can play in the NFL.
Teams are concerned about his character, but I'd stake my word on him. People really misinterpret him -- I've found him to be a fun guy, very personable and easy to talk with. I'd definitely want him on the same team with me in the NFL. Teams have talked to me about lining up some at fullback, and Cecil was telling me that if we were on the same team and he made it to the Pro Bowl, he'd give me all the recognition and credit. I'd to go war with him anyday.
It's been a quite few weeks since the combines -- I'm meeting with the Giants' tight end coach next week, and I have more workouts scheduled for later in the month.
Being an alumnus, I have enjoyed following your career at UND. What can small-college athletes do to receiver more attention? As you and others have demonstrated, athletes in Division II and III schools have the skills to make the grade in the NFL, but it seems you have to go to extraordinary means to get a fair look -- Brent A. Gudmundson, Fort Collins, Colo.
For small-college guys, a lot of it comes down to timing, and where your college is -- it's a lot of luck as far as getting seen by scouts. I honestly believe if you're a good football player, you're going to get noticed. If you get tagged as a "small-school sensation" or a sleeper, that's great. More than anything, I just want to show people I can play at the next level.
I'm sure growing up you had a favorite NFL team. Let's say it was the Bears, for the sake of this question -- you're a big Bears fan, know all the players, their stats, etc. How would you deal with being drafted by Green Bay or Minnesota? -- Douglas Dorta, Dallas
The opportunity to play is so much more important than which team I go to in the draft. Wherever I land, I'll be happy -- you just have to take it and run with it. I've been a Redskins fan all my life, but I could put on anybody's uniform and be proud to play for them.
Jimmy Kleinsasser, who starred for North Dakota, is expected to be one of the first tight ends selected in the 1999 NFL Draft in April. Check back for another draft diary from him at CNNSI.com.
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