NCF Nation: Thunder Collins
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I remember first meeting Thunder Collins shortly after his arrival to Nebraska. He had the most descriptive name for a college running back I had ever heard before -- or since.
Today, Collins is in the Omaha City Jail after being arrested on charges of first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and two felony weapons charges. He and another man were arrested by Omaha police Wednesday in connection with the alleged slaying Tuesday of a Los Angeles man and the wounding of another in a home in Omaha.
Collins was involved in one of the most memorable plays in Nebraska history in 2001. He originally took a handoff from quarterback Eric Crouch that ended up in wide receiver Mike Stuntz's hands. Stuntz then hit Crouch with a 63-yard touchdown pass, sealing a 20-10 victory for Nebraska over Oklahoma.
That big play likely did more for earning Crouch his Heisman Trophy than any single play. It also helped catapult the Cornhuskers into the national championship game, where they lost to Miami, 37-14.
Collins remained with the Cornhuskers through the 2002 season. His best season was in 2001, when he rushed for 647 yards, but never received much playing time after that.
His life after football had been marked with legal problems. And he's facing his biggest one today.
Here are some other stories from across the Big 12 this afternoon.
- Bring on the Cats pens an open letter to Ron Prince about some of his recent coaching decisions.
- Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles has made a big transformation after his season-long suspension last year.
- Des Moines Register columnist Sean Keeler sees some bright spots for Iowa State after the first four games of the season.
- Baylor QB Robert Griffin can detect a change in the culture around his program since arriving at school in January.
- The Lawrence Journal-World's Eric Sorrentino lists the most unbreakable records in Big 12 history.
- In order for Colorado coach Dan Hawkins to match Bobby Bowden's longevity as a coach, he would have to coach for 29 more seasons.