From Hominy to TU to the NFL: Cardinals take Zaven Collins in first round of NFL Draft

Zaven Collins played quarterback at small-town Hominy. He led the Bucks to a Class A state title. Lightly recruited out of high school. Collins signed with the University of Tulsa and became a consensus All-American linebacker. Now he’s a first-round NFL Draft pick. The Cardinals took Collins with the 16th overall pick Thursday night.

Collins is the first TU football player to get drafted in the first round since 1977 and only the third Golden Hurricane to go in round one overall, joining Steve August in 1977 and Glenn Dobbs in 1943.

This year marks the second straight season that a Tulsa player was chosen in the draft as a pair of Hurricane defenders went in the 4th and 5th rounds of the 2020 draft – CB Reggie Robinson (Dallas Cowboys) and DE Trevis Gipson (Chicago Bears). The last time Tulsa had NFL draft picks in back-to-back years came in 1996 – Sedric Clark (Oakland Raiders) – and 1997 – Muadianvita Kazadi (St. Louis Rams).