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USFL Prospect Interview: FCF DB Curtis Collins, Talks USFL & FCF

I had the privilege of talking with Curtis Collins, a Safety who most recently played in the Fan Controlled Football League. Curtis was a division II prospect from Notre Dame College in Indianapolis were he earned an All-MEC selection in 2018. Curtis also spent time in The Spring League where he earned a Championship with The Lineman.

PR: Curtis as 2022 begins obviously The USFL is on a lot of players minds. What information have you been given, and how are you preparing for the “call”.

CC: “As far as information I haven’t been given much besides what the public already knows were both in the same boat as far as information. But as far as my preparation I’m always prepared and in the process of staying prepared. But when the call comes, I’ll be ready more than ever.”

PR: After graduating in 2020, how was your pre-draft process? What issues did COVID bring? Did you have any workouts or mini camps?

CC: “My pre-draft process was far different than any other class or draft prospect has seen in years.  Covid definitely ruined and helped my career honestly. I didn’t get a pro day or any pre-draft workouts like I had scheduled with some teams. And I also didn’t get any minicamp invites due to those reasons, had a lot of interest from teams and scouts but it was hard for them to get a true feeling for me. But I thank God he took me through this process. It made my work ethic that much harder.”

Curtis Collins playing for Notre Dame College

PR: As a player in college seeing the AAF and XFL come along and then fold, how did you feel about that? Do you have any fears regarding the USFL and XFL coming up?

CC: “Is anything in life business or relationship wise 100% a sure thing? So, at this point in my career, I just pray for the best and when my opportunity comes, I just want to capitalize on it. Even if it means for a few games then so be it. But I trust the USFL approach so far with everything, so I’m prepared.”

PR: Describe playing in the FCF, how did you feel when the league started especially with the failures of the recent spring football leagues?

CC: “The FCF was a great experience for me on and off the field and I appreciate every coach and player I got a chance to connect with. And I didn’t really know what to expect. Honestly, I never heard of fans calling the plays. But it was a great experience overall and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

PR: With COVID still on the rise, how were the living conditions in the FCFL “bubble”? What was compensation like and what do you think of the league’s future with the Forty Million Dollar investment made recently.  

CC: “Living conditions were great for the most part I couldn’t complain food was pretty good on a daily basis. They took care of us to the best of their ability while being in a bubble environment and with covid so they did the best they could. And I think it’s great people and investors think highly of the FCF to want to invest that much time and money into a great league.”

PR: Who are some of your mentors in your pro-career? What have been able to pick up from some of the pro’s that you’ve reached out to and met.

CC: “I have a lot of great mentors in my career guys like Gary Brackett, Linden Stephens, Keion Adams, Damon Sheehy and a few other pros I take advice from. They just pour into my mental health aspect of the game. and give me great financial advice and just a lot of life situation its bigger than football with them which why we connect well.”

PR: The FCFL and The Spring League have had a lot of guys who have had “A cup of tea” in the NFL or these other leagues. Who stands out in your mind? Whose career are you most in awe of? 

CC: “To be honest I try not to focus on other people’s careers a lot because it takes away from my focus to take that next step. Not to knock anyone’s success or anything because I want to see everyone get an opportunity that’s put in the work for it. But shout out to my quarterback Ryan Willis for getting signed to the bears.”

PR: The Spring league, how’d you end up playing in that league?

CC: “I was actually on the field when I got the call from the defensive coordinator saying they are thinking about signing me to the team. He said they would call me back in an hour I went home took a nap I had a missed call from coach. Woke up and called him back and he said they were signing me and how fast could I get to Indianapolis?  Luckily, I lived in Cincinnati at the time which isn’t far at all from Indy I left within the hour and the rest was history.”

Curtis Collins in The Spring League with The Linemen in 2021

PR: Winning a championship in The Spring League. Describe that feeling and some of those guys you played with.

CC: “Winning the championship in the spring league was like a weight lifted off my shoulder honestly. You ever went through so much in life or worked so hard that when you finally get a breakthrough all you can do is cry. Thats exactly what I did for like ten minutes I just had been through a lot with covid and the whole draft process playing in the spring league and etc. It just felt good to win something and on top of that getting named top 5 prospects on my team was the icing on the cake honestly. And my teammates were amazing guys to play with all very selfless and caring people on and off the field.”

PR: What are your plans after football. When do you know it’s time to transition careers?

CC: “I plan to run my non for profit for mental health on a grander scale with youth teams and programs involved in it. I want to be involved in as much business and investments as I can. I want to really tap back in with the youth because they are the future of what our world will be. I want to be done with football when God says it’s time”

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging with his dogs in his off time.

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