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January 18, 2012
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Charlie Collins is a name very familiar to many in the football community as a coach who has trained some of the NFL's best wide receivers, and, as far as southern California is concerned, one of the biggest names on the scene in training some of the best up-and-comers in the state - if not the nation.
Now, he's on the short list to join the California coaching staff to replace departed wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau.
"Me and Jeff Tedford have talked, and there's real interest," Collins told BearTerritory on Wednesday morning. "It's just a matter of, if we can come together on something within the next day or so. I think there is one other candidate, but we've talked twice already, so I would imagine that I'm somewhere in the top of that list. We'll see what happens."
Collins has worked closely with Chad Ochocinco (formerly Chad Johnson) and Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith in junior college. Ochocinco still considers Collins his mentor, and Collins still works with him. He also worked with late Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry, as well as Oakland Raiders receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the offseason.
Based out of the Los Angeles area, Collins has been in talks with the Buffalo Bills, who are making inroads to hiring him away from the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL, but staying in the Golden State is something that Collins is quite keen on.
"I've talked to Tedford, and we'll see in the next day or so, we'll probably get something done. I have something going on with the Buffalo Bills, but I'm a California guy, so I'd rather stay at home than go to Buffalo," said Collins, who is excited about the prospect of working in the Conference of Quarterbacks. "I think that it's because the Pac-12 in itself, I think the Pac-12 is growing into being a mega-conference, from the standpoint that you've got Mike Leach, who I know, you've got [Rich] Rodriguez, who I know, I mean, I'm a receivers coach, so I like balls in the air, and it's going to turn out to be one of those passing conferences, so we're going to really have to go out and really compete and thrive off of playing at a higher level. That excites me -- when it comes to that aspect -- because my world is passing and receiver play. I'm pretty excited about that part of it."
Collins has worked with several of the current Cal wide receiver commits in southern California, including Chris Harper, in his post for Football University (FBU). Should he wind up with the job, he will have to make sure that the Bears can hold onto their haul of six wide receivers in this class.
"The nice part about it is, I have relationships with all of those kids," Collins said. "They know who I am, and provided I did take the job, I have no doubt that any of these kids, they've followed me for a while, and they know who's coached Chad Johnson. They know who's coached Isaac Bruce and T.J. [Houshmandzadeh], and those guys. I think, with the kids, that will a long way in them wanting to stay, because they want to get coached, and they obviously have pro football in the back of their minds, if not the front of their minds. Definitely a lot of the recruits that they do have on their radar are kids that I actually have personal relationships with, so I know those kids well."
More from BearTerritory.net on the status of the recruiting class and coaching staff shake-ups: