Tony Collins
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1959-05-27) May 27, 1959 (age 62)
Sanford, Florida
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
College:East Carolina
NFL Draft:1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rush Att:1,191
Rush Yards:4,647
Rush TDs:32
Rec Yards:2,356
Rec TDs:12
Career Arena statistics
Rec Yards:837
Rec TDs:16
Player stats at · PFR ·

Anthony Collins (born May 27, 1959) is a former American football running back. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) and the Arena Football League. He played in Super Bowl XX as a member of the New England Patriots. He played college football at East Carolina University.

Early years

A speedy and powerful runner, Collins first garnered notoriety in high school as a starter on the 1976 New York State Class B Champion Penn Yan Academy Mustangs. He grew up with 15 siblings as one of 16 children.


Collins attended East Carolina University and was selected in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Cris Crissy, one of his high school teammates, was also drafted by the Patriots that season.[1][2] Collins was a Pro Bowl selection in 1983 and he played in Super Bowl XX as a member of the Patriots. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 1988, but was suspended for the entire season after failing a drug test.[3] His final year in the NFL was in 1990 with the Miami Dolphins. Collins finished his NFL career with 4,647 rushing yards, 261 receptions for 2,356 yards, and 44 touchdowns in 103 games.

Collins' drug problem began when he became addicted to painkillers after suffering an ankle injury with the Patriots in 1982.[4] After being released from the Dolphins, Collins began using cocaine.

Arena football

In 1991, Collins joined the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. On July 9, 1991, Collins drove his car into a lake in Orlando in an apparent suicide attempt.[5]

In 1992 Collins continued his arena football career with the Cincinnati Rockers and scored nine touchdowns. In 1993, Collins played his last season of arena football with the Miami Hooters.

After football

Collins educates high school athletes and their families on the college recruiting process as an educational speaker for the National Collegiate Scouting Association. He hosted an internet radio show, Sports Talk with Touchdown Tony Collins, on the VoiceAmerica Sports Channel. Collins started a foundation in 2007 called "It's for the Kids", which works with disadvantaged youths in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York.[6] He published a book in 2012 entitled, Broken Road: Turning My Mess Into a Message.[7]


Collins' nephew is Reggie Branch, who played for the Washington Redskins. Collins and his wife Trudy live near Greenville, N.C.[8]


  1. ^ Pinneo, Gary. "30 years later, Tony Collins scores another TD for PY". The Chronicle-Express. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
  2. ^ The Football Encyclopedia, St. Martin's Press, 1994, ISBN 0-312-11435-4
  3. ^ "NFL Bans Collins for One Year". Los Angeles Times. August 13, 1988. Archived from the original on September 13, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  4. ^ Nelson, Caleb (February 11, 2016). "Former Patriot's star Tony Collins talks big dreams – and bad calls – with Everett students". Dorchester Reporter. Archived from the original on July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  5. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE: PRO FOOTBALL; Suicide Bid Reported". New York Times. New York City. July 10, 1991.
  6. ^ "Tony Collins Foundation | Home". Archived from the original on April 2, 2012.
  7. ^ Collins, Tony (November 4, 2012). Broken Road: Turning My Mess into a Message. ISBN 978-1480025721.
  8. ^ Chamberlain, Gwen (December 21, 2012). "Tony Collins wants to change lives". The Chronicle-Express. Penn Yan, New York.
Preceded byVagas Ferguson New England Patriots leading rusher 1981–1983 Succeeded byCraig James Preceded byCraig James New England Patriots leading rusher 1987 Succeeded byJohn Stephens