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27th Apr 2016

WATCH: Top NFL prospect on the training technique that could be coming to a GAA club near you

Keeps you on yer toes

Patrick McCarry

Irish dancing makes you a better footballer. We all knew that, right?

Alex Collins has very realistic dreams of making the NFL. The former Arkansas Razorback running back is expected to be snapped up in this year’s NFL draft after impressing in some rigorous combines.

The 21-year-old has put his nimble feet and lightning quick reactions down to Irish dancing.

Through his high school football coach, Collins got involved with the Drake School of Irish Dance. His teammates are mostly a collection of girls, aged between six and 18, and Collins is often called upon to give lifts before and after practice.

Unusual proving ground for a future NFL star? For Collins, Irish dancing is the most natural thing in the world. He told the Monday Morning Quarter Back:

“It is all about rhythm and timing in Irish dance, and so it is for the running back as well.

“Here I am always on my toes, and I really love it because it builds my lower body muscles and my calf muscles. I am more explosive on the field. As a running back you want to have that lower body strength and that footwork, and this is perfect place to get it.”

Bizarrely, Collins likes to go by his dancing alias of Mitchell Finlay. Sounds like an extra from that Murder She Wrote episode where Jessica Fletcher rocked up in Ireland with her typewriter and suspicious nature.

We want to see the likes of Joe Schmidt, Jim Gavin and Eamon Fitzmaurice introduce Irish dancing classes for their sports stars.

Get a flash shirt and steel-heeled pair of kicks on Kieran Donaghy and watch him go!