Orange Park (FL) High School's Alex Collier is now a Florida State Seminole. The No. 2 returner in the 400m signed to Florida State University on Wednesday.
"When I put on the uniform it just felt right," Collier said. "I looked so good in the uniform, and I really felt like I was supposed to be there. I put on the uniform and I was ready to run. I just felt the vibe there, it felt like home.
"Once I got there, I saw everyone that I'd be running with and you know, savages want to be with savages."
Collier was also considering Texas Tech, Penn State, Miami, and Mississippi State, but he ultimately found it imperative to stay close to home. Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville, is less than three hours away from Tallahassee.
"I'd like my
family to be able to see me run and come to see me when they want to," he said.
"I want to stay close to my mom and my sister because they're the only things I
have. I just want to stay as close as possible."
The senior showed major improvement throughout the 2019 season. He won his first FHSAA 3A State Championship with a time of 46.33, a US No. 3 mark.
Collier also earned All-American honors at the AAU Club Championships and New Balance Nationals Outdoor with a third-place finish at each.
Sprint coach Ricky Argo has helped the men of FSU rise on the national stage. In the past
two seasons, his athletes have earned 11 All-American honors and 10 ACC
championships, and he's led the team to three conference titles.
Under the guidance of Argo, Collier will focus on the 200m and 400m during his college career.
"The coach that's coaching me now, he treats me like his son, so I felt the same vibe as him," Collier said of Argo.
The senior felt an instant connection with the current roster during his visit. He said that FSU made him feel like he was a part of the team, even during the men's ring ceremony for their ACC indoor championship. Collier also felt his long term goals aligned with everyone at FSU.
"Everyone talks about the way that they work, the way that the coaches treat them and how focused they are on the track," he said. "I want to come to be focused and go pro. I don't want to just have fun at college, I want to be focused."
Taking his talents to the next level is something Collier never intended. Starting track in the eighth grade, he said he just ran to get faster in football. But after making it to regionals as a freshman, he began to take the sport more serious.
thought that I would be here," he said. "When I ran in 10th
grade and made it to state, I wasn't even projected to make finals, then I made
finals and place third. That's when I was like yeah, this will be the sport
that takes me."
Collier is Orange Park's biggest recruit since 1996, when nationally-ranked free safety Robert Pollard committed to the University of Nebraska.
"It's a big deal, they've treated it like a big deal and I'm happy to be here," Collier said. "I'm thankful and sometimes nervous. It's a big deal because everyone looks at me now like I'm going to win everything. So, it really motivates me to run harder and train harder because I can't disappoint anyone."
With goals to run sub-46 in the 400m this season and defend his state title, Collier is more than ready for his senior year to fly by.
"I want it to speed up," he said. "Even though high school is fun, I'm ready for the next level. I'm ready to see what I can become."