The cheeseheads now have a college president in their ranks
Donning the famous headwear of perhaps the most ardent fans in the National Football League, Bethune-Cookman College (Daytona Beach, Fla.) President Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed recently celebrated Wildcat Nick Collins' drafting by the Green Bay Packers with a reception in White Hall -- the College's administration building. In attendance were members of administration, faculty, staff, student leadership and the football coaching staff, including Head Coach Alvin B. Wyatt, Sr.
Dr. Reed and members of the College's cabinet, alumni association and student government all presented gifts to the Cross City, Fla. senior who became the I-AA program's second player to go in the second round in the past three years.
"We are certainly proud of you Nick, and we know that you will represent us well in this endeavor," Dr. Reed said. "Always know that our best wishes and thoughts will be with you. This is an outstanding example of the student-athletes of Bethune-Cookman College"
One of the many gifts was a wool blanket depicting the college's history.
"Where you're going, you'll definitely need this," laughed College Provost Dr. Ann Taylor Green.
The soft-spoken Collins was definitely appreciative of the event.
"This means a lot to me," Collins said. "I don't have a lot to say."
Collins was the 51st player selected in Saturday's draft and became the fourth Wildcat in school history to go in the second round. Two years ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars took Rashean Mathis, who posted two interceptions on Packers quarterback Brett Favre in a 2004 game at Lambeau Field, with the 39th overall pick.
Terry Williams, a current assistant coach of the Division I-AA school, was drafted by the New York Jets in 1988 and Booker Reese by the Tampa Bay Bucs in 1982. The college's football alumni also include Hall of Fame lineman Larry Little, a member of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins, and the late Boobie Clark, who earned the 1973 AFC rookie of the year award with the Cincinnati Bengals.
"For a college our size (Bethune-Cookman's enrollment is approximately 2,900) to have a second round draftee is as good as a first round (selection)," said Wyatt, himself a sixth-round selection of the Oakland Raiders in 1970. "This just shows what we're doing in our program...we're taking guys who are borderline and developing them, which shows that our work ethic is paying off."
Collins registered 144 tackles and 13 interceptions while starting 23 games in his Bethune-Cookman College career, garnering a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference first team nod his junior and senior years.