GEISMAR -- Anyone wondering if Landon Collins might have a last-minute change of heart Wednesday got the answer about a half-hour before the five-star safety sat down to sign his national letter of intent. Collins walked through the doors of the Dutchtown gym wearing a gray "Roll Tide" sweatshirt, a sure sign he would stick by the commitment he made to Alabama four weeks earlier.
"I wasn't trying to play any mind tricks or any head games," Collins said after signing. "I just wanted the process to be over."
The uneventful closing act of the Dutchtown standout's recruitment had little in common with everything that came before.
A two-horse race featuring hometown LSU and rival Alabama culminated when Collins, easily the state of Louisiana's top college prospect, let out a "Roll Tide" in announcing his commitment Jan. 5 at the nationally televised Under Armour All-American Game, played only four days before LSU and Alabama met in the BCS National Championship Game.
Such decisions generally inspire hugs and laughter, but Collins' mother, April Justin, made it known she was not happy with her son's choice.
"I feel LSU is a better place for him to be," she told ESPN's Dari Nowkhah on live TV. Holding up her index finger, she added, "LSU Tigers No. 1."
Justin wore neutral colors to Wednesday's signing ceremony.
Seated with her son in the bleachers of the Dutchtown gym, she wiped tears from her face as Collins waited to sign. She tried one last time to change his mind.
In the end, Collins told her Alabama felt like home.
"He said he's going to go up there and shine like the diamond he is," Justin said. "That's what we pinky-sweared. He said Tuscaloosa is where he's going to shine."
Few in the recruiting world doubt Collins has what it takes to shine anywhere.
ESPN lists Collins as the nation's No. 6 prospect, 247Sports has him at No. 3 and Scout ranks him sixth. Rivals lists Collins at No. 17 nationally.
Collins starred for Dutchtown on both sides of the ball, becoming the first Louisiana player to earn 5A all-state recognition on offense and defense.
But his future is in the secondary.
Collins hopes Alabama coach Nick Saban can help get him ready for a career in the NFL. He told his mom he wants to become the rare defensive back to win a Heisman Trophy.
"He earned what he got," Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. "He's a five-star recruit. He won every award you could think of winning. He was signed by the No. 1 team in the country and was recruited by the No. 2 team in the country. It doesn't get much better than that."