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Woodlawn QB Rickie Collins warms up before going back in during the Seven-on-Seven football event at Zachary High featuring Zachary, Woodlawn, Central and Port Allen.

To some, the timing may have seemed strange. But Woodlawn junior quarterback Rickie Collins said his decision to announce his commitment to Purdue on Friday was perfectly timed.

“It was something I had been thinking about doing for a while,” Collins said. “It could have happened sooner. Last week was the start of district, we had a big game and I decided to go ahead and do it. For me, it was the right time.”

The 6-foot-3½, 185-pound Collins then went out and completed 13 of 19 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown as the Panthers (2-2, 1-0) opened District 5-5A play with a 27-14 win over previously unbeaten Dutchtown.

Collins becomes the second of Baton Rouge’s junior foursome of highly touted quarterbacks to commit. Zachary’s Eli Holstein committed to Texas A&M in late June after an unofficial visit to College Station. C’Zavian Teasett of Scotlandville and Denham Springs’ Reese Mooney remain uncommitted.

Collins made an unofficial visit to Indiana-based Purdue during the summer. He is ranked 14th in Louisiana’s deeply talented class of 2023, according to 247sports. Newman’s Arch Manning is No. 1 on that list and Holstein is No. 6.

“From the time (Purdue) offered me, they were the school that pushed the hardest for me,” Collins said. “When I went up for a visit with my mom, we liked it.

“The decision was something I thought about a lot. There were signs that pointed toward that being the right decision.”

Collins is the second local player to commit to the Boilermakers in recent months. University High senior Roman Pitre, an athlete prospect, also is committed to Purdue.

Purdue has two Louisiana players on its current roster — former Scotlandville defensive back Jah’von Grigsby and defensive end DaMarcus Mitchell of Thibodaux.

Surgery for Mooney

Mooney of Denham Springs was scheduled to undergo surgery on a broken ankle Monday. He was injured in the Yellow Jackets’ win over Franklinton and will miss the remainder of the season.

The 6-1, 200-pound Mooney is ranked 20th in Louisiana’s 2023 class by 247 sports.

Running notes

The top teams are not necessarily the only newsmakers at cross country meets like the Catholic High Invitational on Saturday at Highland Road Park.

For example, Hannah Linebaugh of Denham Springs set a three-mile school record time by placing 11th in the girls race with a time of 19 minutes, 21.35 seconds.

Also, Dawson Latona finished 19th in the boys race in 16:24.61, leading St. Michael to a sixth-place finish. But that was just one notable recent accomplishment for Latona, who also is a National Merit Scholar semifinalist.


Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com