As former Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora stood in Jamie Collins’ living room one night for a recruiting visit, he turned to Collins’ sister, Lisa Adams, who knew Collins better than anyone.

Fedora asked, “How big do you think your brother will be before he graduates?”

She looked at Collins, who was a tick more than 200 pounds at the time, and surmised, “240 or 250.”

Fedora agreed, believing it wouldn’t be more than two years before they bumped the high school quarterback and safety to defensive end. Collins’ freakish athleticism already existed, and once he filled out his frame, the potential to wreak havoc off the edge would follow.

Collins’ development was wild, but predictable. Fedora and current Southern Mississippi defensive coordinator David Duggan, who led Collins’ recruitment in McCall Creek, Miss., were so hot on the local kid that they watched his other sports, too. They visited Franklin County High School’s basketball games and saw Collins, who wore No. 23, display an eerily striking resemblance to Michael Jordan, both in swagger and body build.

“You would have sworn you were looking at Michael Jordan,” Duggan said of the Patriots’ first pick in last week’s draft. “He looked physically just like Jordan, could jump through the gym and was a really impressive athlete on the basketball court.”

Duggan also saw Collins messing around on the track, where he was a high jumper. Collins was catching passes from a friend while clearing a 6-foot bar, as nonchalantly as one could conceivably do it. The Southern Mississippi coaching staff had to clean a proverbial puddle of drool off their shirts.