TULSA, Oklahoma - TU travels to Annapolis to play Navy this Saturday.

The Golden Hurricane are just 2-8, but amidst what has been a disappointing year for Tulsa football, a bright spot has emerged.

“He’s been a dominant player for us of late,” said head coach Philip Montgomery.

Zaven Collins has made himself into one of the best linebackers in the conference.  He leads TU in tackles for loss and is second on the team in total tackles – all in his redshirt freshman year.

“It’s been a long journey just learning how to play the game as it slows down for me throughout the season,” said Collins.

With the season he’s had, it may not be fair to call Zaven Collins a diamond in the rough, but coach Montgomery admits that, when he recruited him out of Hominy, he wasn’t sure where Collins would make an impact, he just knew that he would.

“You know what you’re looking at, you know it’s going to be good,” said Montgomery, “You don’t know exactly what it’s going to be good at.”

The answer for Collins is being a big-time defensive player, one who figures to be key in turning the program around.

“The taste doesn’t leave your mouth of this season,” said Collins.  “Just let that build up, and just let that drive you for your work ethic.”

“With that type of size and range and speed, he’s a guy that can be a difference maker,” stated Montgomery.