Work in Sports
Dolphins waive troubled rookie running back Collins
Posted: Tuesday February 08, 2000 05:44 PM
MIAMI (Ticker) -- The Miami Dolphins today waived troubled running back Cecil Collins, who remains in a Broward County jail while awaiting trial on two counts of burglary.
Collins, 23, clearly had no future with the Dolphins after he was suspended by former coach Jimmy Johnson on December 16 following his arrest for an alleged burglary of an occupied dwelling at a neighbor's apartment in Davie, Florida.
In another move, the Dolphins re-signed offensive tackle Mike Sheldon to a two-year contract. Sheldon, who completed his third season with Miami, appeared in nine games last season in a reserve roll. Johnson took a chance on Collins, who had a history of problems at Louisiana State and McNeese State, by drafting him in the fifth round of last year's NFL draft.
Following an impressive preseason, Collins appeared to be turning around his life as he became the Dolphins' starter in the fourth game of the season and held the position until he suffered a fractured fibula against the Buffalo Bills on November 14.
Collins finished the season as Miami's second-leading rusher with 414 yards and two touchdowns. However, Johnson did not hesitate suspending his running back and said at the time the ban would remain in effect until all legal matters were resolved.
According to the arrest report, Collins was identified by another member of his apartment complex, Ronald Nolte, some three to four hours after the two got into a confrontation, the player alleged.
Nolte alleged Collins broke into his apartment through a rear bedroom window and approached Nolte and his wife, Tina, who were asleep in the closed master bedroom. Ronald Nolte chased Collins through the house and Collins dove out the open window in a spare bedroom, dove onto wet grass and fled on foot.
Nolte, who later identified the player by name and clothing, ran out his front door and confronted Collins at the back of the apartment. Collins then went into his apartment, where he eventually was arrested.
Collins, known as "The Diesel" for his explosiveness, had the talent to be a first-round pick, but his problems in college dropped him all the way down to the fifth round -- the 134th overall selection -- before Johnson selected him.
The 5-10, 209-pounder was thrown off the LSU team in the spring of 1998 after being arrested on charges of unauthorized entry and sexual battery. He transfered to McNeese State, but was dismissed after only two games for failing a court-imposed drug test.
In the summer prior to his tenure at McNeese State, Collins was arrested on separate charges of aggravated burglary and simple battery -- both of which allegedly occurred in the same building -- prompting his dismissal from the LSU football team.
For LSU, Collins was the nation's leading rusher before breaking his fibula in the fourth game of the 1997 season. Then a sophomore, he already had gained 596 yards on 72 carries for an average of 8.3 yards per rush.
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