GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
Fred Collins graduated from Gulfport East in 1976. He was a bruising fullback who played along side Commodores running back Fred Hicks. The duo-was known as Thunder and Lightning.
Collins said, "We had a great team. Had a great coach in J.E. Loiacano. We actually beat people on the field as well as physically beat them because we were so much stronger and bigger because he had a great weight program."
Collins was extremely fans for his size.
I was 6-3, 230, 225 pounds and that was pretty large at the time, "stated Collins. "Basically I was larger then most linemen. I had a little speed to be able to carry the ball and I was a pretty good blocker."
Collins says he had the likes of Alabama, LSU and Tulane offering scholarships, but chose Mississippi State where he played from 1997 through the 1980 season.
Collins says he had a 90 yard run against Ole Miss and gained 75 yards against Alabama as two of his biggest highlights.
He led the Bulldogs in rushing in 1978 and 1979.
So what does it mean to be inducted into the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame?
"It's always a great honor to get noticed by some of your peers and some of your teammates you played with, "said Collins.
Collins has this advice for young athletes.
He said, "Mothers and a lot of parents push them to play sports but education is number one. You have to get the grades. Without the grades you won't have a career in football."
Collins cracked the New Orleans Saints 1980 NFL roster and played one season before an injury ended his pro career.
He's the Superintendent of the Mississippi Military Department in Gulfport.