BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU senior offensive lineman La'el Collins might be preparing for the final game of his stellar college career, but there's another ending that's come much more abruptly.
Collins' high school alma matter Redemptorist announced Friday that the school will be closing its doors this summer. Collins was a standout player for the Wolves, opening big holes for powerful running back Jeremy Hill and others.
Hill not only starred with Collins at LSU later, but he's also become a candidate for "Rookie of the Year" in the NFL this season. He rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown Monday night, as his Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Denver Broncos 37-28. Hill now has 1,024 yards rushing this year. Collins is certainly happy for his longtime friend, but hardly chipper about the news closer to home.
"You know I'm still in disbelief," Collins said of Redemptorist's impending closure. "That's a great school, a great program. Every time I think about it, I just think about all the tradition. All the powerhouse years in athletics, the great teachers, the great principal, the people that made that school so important. Just to see all that go down the drain, I would hate.
"I'm not one to say Redemptorist is going to close down, because in my heart I don't want to believe it, I don't want it to happen. I'm with those people out there trying to keep the school alive. I'm right there with them. Hopefully I can maybe help them out one day. I just hope that they're able to stay open."
Collins and his LSU teammates take on Notre Dame in The Music City Bowl December 30 in Nashville, Tennessee. A five-star recruit out of high school and called one of the best offensive lineman ever from Louisiana, Collins has truly lived up to his potential. He was named first team All-SEC this year by both the media and coaches, while also receiving the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for top blocker in the entire conference.
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