Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Night Beer: Thunder Collins Arrested on Murder Charge

Who would ever have thought that Lawrence Phillips could ever be dethroned as the former Husker player fans wished had never worn a Husker uniform? Yesterday, one man was killed and another man was seriously wounded in a shooting in Omaha. Today, a suspect was arrested: former Husker running back Thunder Collins.

To be sure, an arrest doesn't equate to guilt. That is a subject for the court of law and in due time. First degree murder is no laughing matter. In fact, this is about as serious as it comes, as the World-Herald reports that the case revolves around a drug deal that turned into a robbery attempt. Which makes it even more incredulous that Collins actually gave an interview to Omaha TV station KMTV-Channel 3 yesterday, admitting that he was in the area yesterday. (I'm sure Omaha TV News blogger Ted Brockman is going to have fun with reporter Devin Patton not inquiring further just what Collins was doing in that neighborhood and what he saw...)

One thing is for sure... no Nebraska running back should ever be allowed to wear jersey number 1 ever again.

It's not like this is the first time Collins has been in trouble either. Certainly, Collins is becoming known much more for what he's done off the field than on the field. Collins was perhaps the first recruit where the hype went absurd. Even before he ever put on a Husker uniform, the Pinnacle Sports Network was already debating whether AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" or Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls" should be his theme song. Fans ate it up, expecting him to start right away. He never lived up to the hype from his arrival.

Now, Collins sits in jail facing charges that could lead to the death penalty, should he be found guilty.

It almost seems unfair to mention a couple of other former Huskers who were also overhyped when they arrived in Lincoln, but they're in the news as well for football. Former Husker quarterback Harrison Beck will start for North Carolina State this week, rebounding from a poor fall practice to some extent. Starter Russell Wilson is injured and backup Daniel Evans has been horrible. True freshman Mike Glennon is going to redshirt, leaving Beck as the next option. The News & Observer gave us the following account:

In 10 career games, Beck has four touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. All four of his touchdown passes came against non-BCS conference foe Central Florida and FCS team William & Mary.

"He can wing it around," (NC State head coach Tom) O'Brien said. "We're just going to have to tell him that we're wearing the red jerseys on Saturday night, and we'll be in good shape."

Ouch. Not exactly a vote of confidence there.

Also, running back Leon Wright-Jackson is the starting running back for Hawai'i, though he's been battling injuries. He'll be facing San Jose State this weekend, and judging from how the Warriors have run the ball this season and how San Jose State did with clogging the Husker rushing attack a couple of weeks ago, he probably won't have a big game.


Anonymous said...

This is kind of freaky since I think that was the house I grew up in near Benson Park. Good thing we moved out 14 years ago.

Matthew said...

This does mark what appears to be a sad turn in the now insignificant saga of Thunder Collins. I agree--both of these guys have left a tarnish on Nebraska Football due to their on-going off-the-field problems. However, we can at least say that we got to experience some very thrilling moments watching Bugaha Larry run roughshot over everyone that dared to try to defend against him (might have been the best NU RB ever if he had kept it together). I am not sure what is more disappointing though--Larry P. leaving so much potential on the table because he couldn't control his temper, or Thunder Collins being so overhyped.

That being said, here's a question for you: if you had to make a top 10 list of the most overhyped recruits in NU history, who would they be? Names that come to mind for me: Harrison Beck, Frankie London, Thunder, Sandro DeAngelis, the Picou brothers, Terry Rodgers, Chris Brooks (so far), Larry Townshend, Leodis Flowers, Danny Muy...and let's throw in Santino Panico for good measure (I know he wasn't really hyped, but gee whiz, did the guy even belong anywhere above the NIAA level?).