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Collins signs with Western Oregon

Forest Grove senior Zac Collins will play football at the Division II school next fall


Zac Collins is going to be a Wolf.

The Forest Grove multi-sport star signed his National Letter of Intent on April 28 to continue his athletic career as a member of the Western Oregon football team. Collins made it official during a ceremony at the high school’s Basinski Center, where he was joined by his parents, sister and Vikings coach Dwight Jensen, among others.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Collins, also a basketball and track standout at Forest Grove. “I verbally committed back in winter, but it’s just now kind of starting to hit me that it’s official now.”

Collins is joining the team as a preferred walk-on, he said. Western Oregon is located in Monmouth, about 20 miles southwest of Salem. The NCAA Division II school competes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and fulfills Collins’ goal of playing at a higher level.

“I’ve always dreamed of playing college football, and they were the highest division — they’re Division II and every other school that contacted me is Division III — so I wanted to push myself and see what my true potential is,” he said.

Collins said the Western Oregon coaches have not talked to him about a specific position he might play, he said, but they did watch film of him at wide receiver.

The 6-foot-2 wideout/defensive back shined on the gridiron as a senior, helping Forest Grove to a 4-6 overall record and a Class 6A play-in game berth. Collins picked up All-Pacific Conference first team honors on offense and second team honors on defense.

As a wideout, he hauled in 48 receptions for 709 yards and six touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown for good measure. On defense, Collins posted 26 solo tackles, four assisted tackles and 18 pass breakups — three times as many as any other Forest Grove player.

As Collins’ new team, the Wolves posted a 7-4 overall record in 2013 as well as a 7-3 mark in the GNAC under ninth-year head coach Arne Ferguson. Western Oregon opens up the 2014 season playing against Portland State in Portland on Sept. 6.

“I’m nervous, I mean stepping away from Forest Grove, somewhere I’ve been for all my life,” said Collins, who is not yet sure about his academic major. “But I’m also super excited just to try something new, get out, see better competition, hopefully get a starting job.”

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