Video: The Best College Lacrosse Player That Will Never Be…


You might know of Alex Collins because he is a big time college football recruit, or because his mother supposedly hid a letter from one school, in the hopes that Alex might play football for another big time D1 program. While all that makes for a splashy headline, it doesn’t focus on what is truly important: Alex Collins is the BEST Lacrosse Player that will never come to be…

Sure, he’s still as raw as one can get, but his speed, creativity and overall athleticism and power alone would all have given Collins a place on a D1 lacrosse roster somewhere. The move at the 1:17 mark pretty much says it all:

At the :45 second mark he makes two guys fall over just by running near them. At the 2:25 mark I think he kills a kid just by taking a face off.  The goal at the 3:09 mark shows off an uncanny burst off speed and his ability to score.

Collins played his high school lacrosse for South Plantation, in Florida, just outside of Miami, and only picked the sport up in his Senior year. For more, check out this article in the Sun Sentinel.

Now, if you’re thinking that I’m crazy, I can actually call out an example of a football player picking up lacrosse later in life, and becoming a really good player.

At Wesleyan, I saw it happen.

Jeff McLaren transferred to Wesleyan after a year at Rhode Island, where he played D1AA football. McLaren started right away at Wesleyan and was a star for our gridiron team, but when the Spring started rolling around he found out there was no spring football due to NESCAC rules. So he asked if he could try out for lacrosse. Our coach, John Raba, was a football coach as well, and he asked me to help Jeff learn some basics. I showed him how to play wall ball, we played a little catch, and I strung up a stick for Jeff.

Then he took it and ran with it. In the most literal was possible.

He never asked me to string him another stick. Why? He taught himself how to string. He never asked me to play wall ball with him again. He did it on his own, like I did. He watched tons of film, he worked out like a maniac, and he played wall ball until he had blisters on his blisters. Jeff McLaren put in the work, and even though he was a sophomore in college who had never picked up a stick three months ago, he was about to play NCAA lacrosse.

Jeff went on to start for Wesleyan, while being named all-conference in football, and maintaining a GPA my parents only wished I could hit. He would keep playing lacrosse after graduating for the Vermont Voyageurs, America’s best box lacrosse franchise. And he became a doctor. That too.

So if a former D1AA football player/academic savant can pick up lacrosse as a sophomore in college and become a D3 stud, I’m pretty sure a professional football player could have made a D1 roster, and eventually become a seriously amazing player. Would it require a TON of work? Absolutely. But Alex Collins has already shown that he is a guy who puts in the work.

I also want to be clear it doesn’t work the other way around. I was a good college lacrosse player, and my senior year I played football, having never played before. I tried, I really did. But I was awful. Just AWFUL.

NOW Imagine if Alex Collins had focused on lacrosse? He might have been the best. He definitely coulda been a contender! Thanks to Tyler Steinhardt with Uganda Lacrosse for the tip!


  1. I realize this is just a video of him and all but all I see is a Bratton 2.0…selfish.

    In the video he has wide open guys and doesn’t pass. He doesn’t appear to be a team player.

    There is no room in lacrosse or any sport for selfish players.

    • I’ve watched it a couple times now, and I think it’s more an issue of skill than selfishness. The highlights are clearly put together to show some ridiculous plays, but he does pass a couple times, he’s just not great at it. Not a shock he doesn’t pass mid-dodge when you take that into account.

      He is SUPER raw, but it was impressive on some level, at least to me!

      • Raw in both the athletic and lacrosse sense of things. He is a fun player to watch despite his cringe-worthy cradling.

        While it may appear selfish, most players tend to favor their skill set and for him it’s obviously that athleticism. For seasoned players it’s also difficult when tunnel vision takes over. Sometimes I’d rather snake my way through lazy slides than make an unsettled pass to a “wide open” attackmen. But to each his own right?

  2. cool to see, another best player that never (recently) was is Matt Elam the safety from the Gators.  Projected to go in the first 2 rounds of this year’s nfl draft. played lax at Palm Beach Dwyer, which has a legit program history.   They won the club state championship his senior year in 2009.

  3. Raw is correct. However you can teach stick skills, you can’t
    teach athleticism.  I would definitely
    agree with it is a skill issue rather than being selfish.  The when you can’t pass effectively the safest
    place for the ball is in your stick.

  4. umm are you kidding me i understand he only played his senior year…but he is playing  against what looks like the worst team in America..yeah he has speed, but no stick skills, no passing ability, that goal at 1:58 is a joke that goalie couldn’t save a beach ball…a decent HS team would light this kid up..A NE West D1 long pole would lay him out the second he tried to one hand pick up the ball…come on Connor lets do better..there is a 12 year old on LI right now that would school this kid

  5. This video is outstanding. You have to look beyond the stick skills, because this kid just creates space and it doesn’t even really appear that he is going full bore. 

    Would he get stripped plenty playing at any level of college lacrosse? Of course. But I totally agree with Connor and others’ points that he would just need to focus on the stick skills and his impact would explode.  

    Hilarious to see just how much an advantage a raw, athletic, modern football athlete has in modern high school lacrosse.  Seeing him juxtaposed against those minuscule faceoff men shows you just how much bigger these D1 football recruits are than the average human.

  6. I have read your posts and will clear up a few things.  I helped get a stick in his hands as a Junior so I saw it all first hand and talked to him every day about lacrosse.  He was running track and wanted to try something else.  He came out and only had a few weeks of practice before games started.  While his lax IQ was near zero, skills included, he worked really hard.  His athletic ability put him on equal footing with all the opponents he faced.  He could, because he really had no idea what to do with the ball, go coast to coast with even being touched, ankle breaking those that tried to stop him.  He had great fun with the game.  If he started as most of you have, very young, the sky would have been the limit.  The high school team he played for (South Plantation HS) prides itself on being a bridge program.  Giving access to those that may never get a chance to play.  I was truly proud of being part of the group.  Alex is a great kid and will be taking his talents to Arkansas.  He comes to the SEC to play a little football.  While lacrosse will be over for him, he played the game and loved it, if only for a minute.  Isn’t that what it is all about any way?

  7. Let this video be evidence of the soon coming wave of athletes making the transition to lax. This kid could walk on to any program in the country and with a few months of stick skill training he would be absolutely insane. The only thing keeping it from happening at this point is the prospect of millions playing pro football, basketball, etc.