Collins hopes to return Houston to prominence

Collins hopes to return Houston to prominence

Glasgow track star signs with Cougars

022212-01sx.AS.track- Leshon Collins Ð Glasgow, All-State indoor track and field Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. The News Journal/William Bretzger / The News Journal/WILLIAM BRETZGER

GLASGOW — The chance to follow in some of the fastest footsteps ever led Leshon Collins to the University of Houston.

The Glasgow senior signed to run track for the Cougars on Wednesday, lured by an Olympic gold medalist coach and a desire to return a once-legendary program to glory.

“I like the coach, and the coach does my events well,” Collins said in an understatement, referring to former 100-meter world record holder Leroy Burrell. “I feel like he’s the best person to help me succeed as a runner.”

Burrell, a Houston graduate, was the primary reason Collins chose the Cougars over Syracuse and Mississippi State.

“He’s one of my idols,” Collins said of Burrell. “I love the fact that he went there, and I’m going to follow in his footsteps and be one of the greatest runners in track and field history, just like him.”

He certainly has been one of the best in Delaware high school history, winning 10 DIAA titles indoors and outdoors in the sprints and long jump. Collins is the state record holder in the 55 meters (6.29 seconds), 60 meters (6.74) and 100 meters (10.62).

Collins plans to major in physical therapy or athletic training. Houston was once the headquarters for great sprinters. Burrell, Carl Lewis, Kirk Baptiste, Joe DeLoach, Greg Edmonds, Stanley Floyd and Sam Jefferson won NCAA titles in the sprint events from 1977-94. The Cougars haven’t had an All-American sprinter since 2006, but Collins hopes to change that.

“My goals are to get better in the 100 and better in the 200,” he said. “I’ve also long jumped a little in high school, and since [Burrell] also did that, maybe he can help me get better in the long jump.”

Contact Brad Myers at 324-2807 or