College football fanatics likely remember the name Thunder Collins: aside from being a tailback in the twilight years of Nebraska’s heyday (as they’ve basically all been since Tom Osborne retired), Thunder Collins was also a man named freaking Thunder Collins and that’s awesome. When we first heard from him lately, he was dead; that condition was later upgraded to “alive and unharmed.”
That was all part of a homicide in Omaha last year, one that Collins just so happened to be at the scene of, as he told reporters. Comes now that the reason Collins was unharmed was because he was evidently on the other end of the violence. Thus, Collins has been convicted of first degree murder.
As ESPN reports:
As Collins left the courtroom, he yelled at the jury of six men and six women, “Are you happy? Are you happy? You know I didn’t kill anyone!”
Collins was arrested last September within a day of an Omaha shooting that left 38-year-old Timothy Thomas dead and another California man, Marshall Turner, seriously wounded.
Prosecutors said the shooting stemmed from a botched drug deal in which Collins masterminded a plan to rob the men.
Collins’ attorney, Steve Lefler, argued that prosecution witnesses were lying. Lefler did not immediately respond to a phone message left Monday seeking comment.
Well, what’s Lefler supposed to say? “I disagree”? He’d just spent the entirety of the trial disagreeing.
For Nebraska fans, it must be tough to watch. While Collins has little at all to do with the program these days, he still stood as a symbol of the initial decline of Cornhusker football. He was as prominently hyped as any tailback to enter the program, but his best season - 2001 - only saw fewer than 70 yards of total offense per game and 5 touchdowns overall. Then he quit the team the next year amid team rules violations.
And so now off he goes, likely never to be heard from again unless something terrible happens to him in prison. One football career - just like his life and another - wasted.