'You can get drafted from there': Big Ten has big pull with Iowa PG target Yuri Collins
Yuri Collins acknowledges life is a bit stressful right now. He’s fielding texts and calls from coaches, with official visit season rapidly approaching and seemingly not enough time to talk to everyone.
Although, it could be worse.
"I ain’t one of those big-time players anyway," the humble St. Louis star joked with the Register, "so I don’t have my phone buzzing every minute."
One of those schools that is buzzing Collins’ phone? Iowa, and he’s been sure to answer every time. The Hawkeyes became Collins’ first and only high-major offer in July, and he has scheduled an official visit to Iowa City for the weekend of Sept. 22 — when Iowa football hosts No. 4 Wisconsin.
Collins also plans to take an official visit to St. Louis the weekend of Sept. 8. He said he doesn’t have any other officials planned at the moment, and that he’ll know if he wants to schedule more after visiting St. Louis and Iowa.
While those two programs would seem to have the edge, Collins also has mutual interest with DePaul, SMU and Bradley.
But the Hawkeyes can give something none of Collins’ other top schools can: the Big Ten Conference.
For Collins, that matters.
"That’s the big level," he said. "You can get drafted from there. I mean, I’ve seen players get out with the one-and-done, get to the league. I’ve seen some of the best players come out of the Big Ten and make it to the NBA and do good there. So, knowing I could play in the Big Ten right now, I really like it."
Iowa also has a strong recruiting tool in Tyler Cook, another St. Louis product who Collins remembers admiring when he was a freshman and Cook was a senior at Chaminade.
Collins is a smooth-operating, 5-foot-10 point guard out of Saint Mary’s in St. Louis. The 247Sports Composite gives him three stars and ranks him the No. 29 point guard in the 2019 class. He's one of three 2019 point guards Iowa offered this July, along with New York product Joe Toussaint and Florida product Bryan Greenlee.
Point guard has been a position of intense focus for Iowa fans. There is a need at that position and the Hawkeyes went all out for five-star in-state product D.J. Carton.
After missing on Carton, Iowa went into the July evaluation periods with point guards it wanted to evaluate, but it wasn't necessarily committed to offering a point guard. Collins, Toussaint and Greenlee all did enough to earn offers.
Collins said he talks with assistant coach Sherman Dillard quite a bit, and that Dillard is in contact with his dad, too.
"He’s just looking forward to getting me on campus and showing what that program is about," Collins said. "I just want to see the history and what they have to offer. I want to see what the program has been through and the progress they've made over the year — to see what their roster is like right now and where I can fit in with the team."
Collins said he doesn't have a commitment timetable in mind. It appears Iowa and St. Louis lead the pack at the moment. He said he could decide he’s ready after those two visits. But if he needs to visit more schools, he’ll do that.
Iowa isn’t pressuring him into making a quick decision, Collins said.
"They’re pretty open-ended," he said. "They really haven't put a date on when they want me to commit or anything — when they're looking for a point guard to commit."
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.