🏈 News/Notes Tulsa LB Zaven Collins picked #16 overall by Arizona -- news & notes surrounding TU's first-round pick

Chris Harmon

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Aug 15, 2002
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Media release...

Arizona Cardinals Make Tulsa’s Zaven Collins 16th Player Selected in the NFL Draft

Collins is the first Tulsa player since 1977 to be selected in the NFL’s first round

TULSA, Okla.
–– University of Tulsa All-America Linebacker Zaven Collins was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals as the 16th overall selection in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night in Cleveland, Ohio.

Collins is only the third player in school history to be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft and the first since 1977, when offensive lineman Steve August was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as the 14th overall selection. The other Tulsa first round draft pick was Glenn Dobbs by the Chicago Cardinals as the third overall selection in 1943.

This year marks the second straight season that a Tulsa player was chosen in the draft as a pair of Hurricane defenders went in the 4th and 5th rounds of the 2020 draft – CB Reggie Robinson (Dallas Cowboys) and DE Trevis Gipson (Chicago Bears).

The last time Tulsa had NFL draft picks in back-to-back years came in 1996 – Sedric Clark (Oakland Raiders) – and 1997 – Muadianvita Kazadi (St. Louis Rams).

At 6'4", 260 pounds, Collins was one of the college football’s most dynamic defenders in 2020. A consensus All-America selection, Collins was honored with the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player, while also earning the Lombardi Award.

Collins was also unanimously chosen as the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first player in league history to earn unanimous player-of-the-year honors, and also receiving unanimous first-team all-AAC accolades.

In 2020, Collins totaled 54 tackles, 11.5 TFLs for minus 49 yards, four sacks for minus 25 yards, four interceptions for 152 return yards including two for touchdowns. He also forced one fumble, one fumble recovery and one safety in eight games.

Two of Collins' interceptions were game-clinchers, including a pickoff against No. 19 SMU that ended any possible final scoring drive for the Mustangs and his pick-6 in overtime against Tulane that he took 96 yards for the game-winning score.

In four games against top-25 opponents in 2020 –– #11 Oklahoma State, #11 UCF, #19 SMU and #6 Cincinnati –– Collins had 25 solo tackles among his 35 total stops and 10 TFL's for minus 45 yards, four sacks and two interceptions. Collins opened the season with six tackles, all solos, four stops for -24 yards and three sacks for -16 yards against the No. 11-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.

In 32 career games and 30 starts, Collins totaled 235 tackles, 29 TFLs for -109 yards, 7.5 sacks for -46 yards, eight pass breakups, five interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He had eight career double-digit tackle games and also had two career blocked kicks.

Collins was a Freshman All-America selection by the FWAA and USA Today in 2018.

Tulsa Draft Notes


• Zaven Collins became only the third player in school history to be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft.

• He is the first Tulsa player to be drafted in the first round since 1977, when offensive lineman Steve August was selected by the Seattle Seahawks as the 14th overall selection.

• Tulsa’s other NFL first round draft pick was Glenn Dobbs by the Chicago Cardinals as the third overall selection in 1943.

• This year marks the second straight season that a Tulsa player was chosen in the draft. Last year, a pair of Hurricane defenders went in the 4th and 5th rounds of the 2020 draft – CB Reggie Robinson (Dallas Cowboys) and DE Trevis Gipson (Chicago Bears).

• The last time Tulsa had NFL draft picks in back-to-back years came in 1996 – Sedric Clark (Oakland Raiders) – and 1997 – Muadianvita Kazadi (St. Louis Rams).

Zaven Collins reaction.jpeg
 

quincy101

I.T.S. Senior
Nov 4, 2007
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"Welcome to the Valley"......of the Sun, that is. Phoenix heat is a tad bit different than OK heat but I'm sure ZC will adjust for around $14 Mill.