KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been a memorable journey for Kansas City native Jalen Collins.

Born in KCMO, he moved to Olive Branch, Mississippi when he was five years old. After rising through the high school ranks in the Sip, Collins attended LSU and became a top cornerback in his four years there.

He was picked in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and was a key cog in the secondary when they played the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51.

The 6’1 200 pound corner even got a front row seat to watch Andrew Luck and the Colts face the Kansas City Chiefs, his favorite team growing up, in the 2019 AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs.

“Indy was cool,” Collins said. “Got the chance to play with Andrew Luck and see him before he retired.”

“After that, it’s been a little uphill battle trying to get back on the field and stay on the field.”

That uphill battle included stints with two teams in the XFL in 2020 and then making his way to the Canadian Football League. He played for the Toronto Argonauts last season and is now a starter for the Edmonton Elks.

After playing in both countries, Collins says playing the fast-paced, wider game of Canadian football is a little tougher than playing American football.

“A lot of people feel like they can just come out here and do whatever. I actually feel like playing [defensive back] out here is harder than playing DB in the [United] States.”

“You really gotta be on your stuff to be productive and help your team out.”

Collins says he is open to coming back to the NFL or even the XFL if the opportunity presents itself. Collins still has family in Kansas City and visits the city frequently. One thing that Canada doesn’t have: KC barbecue.

“That was the first thing that came to mind: ain’t no barbecue out here. Not hitting on what KC and Memphis got because those are the top two spots,” Collins said.

“Every time I come back, I try to hit as many spots as I can, slide by Gates. I definitely do miss the barbecue.”