Alex Collins, the former Arkansas running back who went on to play five seasons in the NFL, died after he was involved in a motorcycle crash in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, on Sunday night, the Broward County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
He was 28.
Collins crashed into a sport-utility vehicle on West Oakland Park Boulevard, according to the news release. The SUV was making a left turn when Collins' motorcycle hit its rear passenger side, causing him to go through a window and come to rest inside the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash is under investigation.
"Alex was cherished by his family and friends as well as supporters from all around the world," Collins' family said in a statement Monday night. "All who truly know him can attest to his drive, determination, and larger-than-life personality."
A fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2016, Collins was released by Seattle a year later and became one of the biggest surprises of the 2017 Baltimore Ravens. He led Baltimore with 973 yards rushing and six touchdowns, celebrating each score with an Irish dance that he learned from the daughter of his high school football coach.
"With heavy hearts, we mourn the passing of Alex Collins," the Ravens said. "Always quick to greet everyone with a smile, he was a genuinely kind person who carried a special joy and passion wherever he went. May Alex always be remembered for the light and love he brought to so many people in his life."
With heavy hearts, we mourn the passing of Alex Collins. pic.twitter.com/IDywUZ8m73— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 15, 2023
In 2018, Collins struggled to match the same success and was placed on injured reserve in December because of a foot injury. Baltimore released him four months later after he was charged on gun and drug violations. He returned to Seattle in 2020 and '21, and was the team's lead back for a time after starter Chris Carson was injured.
Collins most recently played this spring with the USFL's Memphis Showboats, rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown in three games.
In a social media post, former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson called Collins one of his favorite teammates.
"From the bottom of our hearts, as an organization, every player, every coach, from [owner] Steve [Bisciotti], right on through the whole organization, we want to wish that family our utmost heartfelt condolences and also our prayers for them and for Alex in eternity," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on Tuesday. "He was a great guy. Every day on the practice field [he brought] great energy. [He was] a great dancer, as you might remember -- a great dancer. And we loved having him here."
Before the NFL, Collins starred at Arkansas, where he rushed for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons and scored 20 touchdowns as a junior. He is one of just five players in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons, along with Herschel Walker, Kevin Faulk, Darren McFadden and Benny Snell Jr., according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
"We are so saddened by the sudden and tragic passing of Alex Collins. He was a legendary Razorback and an even better person," the Arkansas football account posted on social media.
Ryan Mallett, a backup quarterback for that 2017 Ravens team who also starred at Arkansas in college, also died earlier this summer. He drowned in late June while swimming with his girlfriend in Florida.
ESPN's Brady Henderson contributed to this story.