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Collins to join Ridley in New England

NATCHEZ — Another Miss-Lou athlete will be joining Stevan Ridley on the New England Patriots.

Jamie Collins, a former Franklin County High School standout, was selected by the New England Patriots with the No. 52 overall pick in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. Collins, a Southern Mississippi linebacker, recorded 84 tackles for the Golden Eagles this season, along with 10 sacks and five pass deflections.

Agent Bus Cook, who represents Collins, said New England would be a great fit for his client.

“(Patriots coach Bill) Belichick came in and personally worked Jamie out,” Cook said. “He put him through a lot of drills, and obviously it paid off for Jamie. I personally think he’s a first-round talent, but with Southern Miss not winning a game, it has a bearing on where you get drafted.”

Collins is a 2009 graduate of Franklin County. He joins Ridley as another former Miss-Lou standout who was drafted by the Patriots. Ridley was drafted by New England in the third round of the 2011 draft.

“He’s an athletic freak and, above and beyond all that, an awesome individual,” Cook said. “He’s a great kid, and New England will be very fortunate to have him. I think Coach Belichick will be good for Jamie, and Jamie will be good for the Patriots.”

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