Bullied Iowa boy and Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins bond over Irish dancing

(DES MOINES REGISTER) -- Alex Collins of the Baltimore Ravens offered words of encouragement on Twitter for one Des Moines boy who is being bullied for taking Irish dance lessons.

"Any advice for a 12yr old boy getting bullied for taking Irish dance lessons?" Carl Tubbs' mother, Joanne Tubbs, tweeted earlier this month to the running back. "Maybe a shoutout to dancer Carl from you would help?"

Collins' reply?

"Never stop doing the things you love because someone else doesn't agree. chase your dreams Carl and don't let them stop you from being great!" his tweet read.

Collins, 23, was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He was cut by the Seahawks prior to start of the regular season this year. Collins signed with Baltimore's practice squad in Week 1, rapidly moving up the depth chart.

He made his first NFL start Oct. 1, in a 26-9 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Like Carl Tubbs, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Collins has taken Irish dance classes as well.

"I just put myself in his shoes and just spoke from the heart to let him know that you may face some adversity in life, but never let that stop you from doing what you want to do," Collins told ESPN. "You fight through it. And you keep pushing hard.

"That was the message I was trying to get across to him."

Collins credits Irish dance for helping him on the field this season. Heading into the Ravens' Thursday Night Football matchup vs. the Miami Dolphins, Collins has rushed for a team-high 365 yards on 62 carries while still looking to score his first touchdown this year.

"I just feel more explosive since I'm always on my toes now," he told CBS News. "I feel like I have calf muscles like the Hulk from Irish dancing."

Carl Tubbs and Collins met last Sunday in Minnesota, when the Ravens faced the Vikings.

"I want to let you know I'm proud of you, man," Collins told Carl Tubbs before the game. "I'm going to be following your career, man."

That's exactly what Carl Tubbs needed to hear.

"It's really inspired me to keep on going with Irish dance," Tubbs told CBS News.

 

 

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