La’el Collins’ award trunk is getting awfully full.
Collins landed on the Associated Press All-America second team, the AP announced Tuesday. He also was a second-team All-America pick by USA Today and SI.com.
Collins, a senior from Baton Rouge, is projected as a mid-to-late first-round NFL draft pick. He passed on the draft last season, returning for his senior year. It’s a decision that likely made him at least $2 million in signing bonus and contract money.
LSU coach Les Miles has fielded dozens of calls from NFL scouts about Collins.
“That’s always the guy they want to talk about,” Miles said. “They want to talk about him first.”
Collins has reeled in a host of awards since the regular season ended. He has been named to two All-SEC teams, won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker and was named LSU’s MVP at the team banquet on Sunday.
Collins and the Tigers (8-4) meet Notre Dame (7-5) in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30. He’ll hope to keep a streak alive: LSU says Collins did not allow a sack this season.
Collins, a former Redemptorist star, was projected as a second-round pick last season. Some have him as high as a top-15 pick.
Increasing his draft stock isn’t the only reason he returned.
“I’ve been just overwhelmed with falling in love with this place,” Collins said earlier this season. “Ever since I got here. It’s a great place for me. LSU has been nothing but good for me. I love the program, love my coaches. Me learning so much this year really made me realize why I really wasn’t ready to move on to the next level.”
Miles ‘not going anywhere’
Miles hasn’t addressed the opening at Michigan with the team, and players say he doesn’t need to do so.
Miles, a Michigan alum who has been linked to the open job there, told reporters Monday night that he’s not considering the job and that he’ll remain at LSU.
“He hadn’t addressed the team about the topic, but we know he’s not going anywhere,” fullback Connor Neighbors said. “We trust him. I wouldn’t want him to go. They’ve got all of this new talent and the freshman class. Competing for a national title next year. Why would you leave?”
Said quarterback Anthony Jennings: “Him coming back is a huge boost for us. We know Coach Miles loves it here.”
LSU will begin working on Notre Dame scouting at practice Wednesday, the third bowl practice for the team. Tigers players went against each other the first two days of practice. … LSU is running low of its allotted 8,000 tickets to the Music City Bowl. The school has less than 500 remaining. Go to LSUtix.net to buy tickets. ... The Music City Bowl is approaching 55,000 in ticket sales, according to The Tennessean. More than 5,000 tickets have been sold this year compared to the same point last year when Ole Miss and Georgia Tech played in the bowl. The capacity at LP Field is 68,798.