Sam Houston State twin brothers, NFL Draft prospects Zyon McCollum, Tristin McCollum ready for ‘exciting, proud moment for family’

Sam Houston State DBs and twin brothers Zyon and Tristin McCollum prepare for the possibility they won't play together as rookies in the NFL.

Zyon McCollum and Tristin McCollum are rarely far apart. The twin brothers and Sam Houston State defensive backs are extremely close. During the recruiting process, the Texas natives and NFL Draft prospects initially verbally committed to Utah before coming to the realization that being that far away from family wasn’t in their best interests.

Zyon McCollum, Tristin McCollum, and the 2022 NFL Draft

The Galveston Ball graduates chose Sam Houston State over Tulane and Texas State as Zyon McCollum also had recruiting interest from Texas Tech, Texas, and Stanford.

Now, the McCollum brothers are preparing for the possibility that they won’t play football together as rookies in the NFL. They’re having fun with the experience and keeping it all in perspective.

“It’s definitely an eye-opening experience,” said Zyon McCollum, a cornerback. “It’s very humbling. We come from a teaching background with our family working in education. It’s been in our blood to accept coaching, to be sponges and soak up information and take tips to work on any weaknesses. It’s an exciting and proud moment for the family.

“It’s everything to me. It’s something we’ve been working for our entire lives. We’ve been getting pushed super hard by our coaches, by our mom. We push each other. To have a chance to play at the next level, there’s no other person I would want to go through this journey with.”

“It’s always been very surreal,” said Tristin McCollum, a safety. “We’ve talked about this plenty of times the past couple of years. To be able to play together in the NFL, it would be a blessing. It would be an amazing cherry on top of this amazing journey.”

Zyon McCollum is among a handful of NFL Draft prospects along with Iowa safety Dane Belton, Montana State linebacker Troy Andersen, Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III, and Rutgers wide receiver Bo Melton who reached every one of these testing numbers (or better) with a 4.1 short shuttle, a 6.90 three-cone drill, a 1.5 10-yard split, and a 36-inch vertical leap.

Checks boxes

Zyon McCollum checks a lot of boxes athletically. He ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash, the third-fastest time among the cornerbacks. He had a 39.5″ vertical leap to rank second at his position. His 11′ broad jump was first among corners. His 6.48 three-cone drill was first overall among all positions, and his 3.94 20-yard shuttle also ranked first.

At 6’2″, 202 pounds, Zyon McCollum’s size and speed are intriguing to NFL teams.

“It was incredible,” said McCollum, who met with the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers in Indianapolis. “It was like a dream come true.”

Tristin McCollum wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine but excelled at the Sam Houston State Pro Day on March 29. At 6’1″, 198 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and had a 37.5″ inch vertical leap, a 10’10” broad jump, a 4.03 short shuttle, and a 6.72 three-cone drill.

Zyon McCollum was a five-year starter at corner, a four-time All-Conference selection, and an All-American selection. He played in the Senior Bowl all-star game. For his career, he intercepted 13 career passes and had 54 pass breakups. He had 3 interceptions, 50 tackles, and 1 blocked kick last season.

‘Really versatile’

“I’m really versatile,” Zyon McCollum said. “I played corner, nickel, and safety in our defense at Sam Houston. I’m definitely intelligent and understand what offenses are showing me. I’m a big communicator and really put myself in position to show off my athleticism.”

Tristin McCollum was a four-year starter and two-time All-Conference selection for the FCS national champions. He finished his career with 229 tackles, 12 for losses, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 1 blocked kick.

“It’s all a fun competition between us,” Zyon McCollum said. “Of course, we get heated sometimes. It’s never too emotional because we love what we do. We love to win. At the end of the day, it’s fun. It’s what we’ve done our entire lives.”

“Sam Houston taught us so many things about football culture,” Tristin McCollum said. “We had so much success. What really sums up our game: versatility, athleticism, very high energy, balls to the wall. No fear.”

Both brothers attended the Texans’ local prospect day. That was the only team visit they did together.

“That was fun,” Zyon McCollum said. “You can tell the environment there was very healthy. Some teams would work us out together. We did schedule a ton of Zooms together. It’s been good. It’s somewhat overwhelming, but you’ll never experience anything like this in your life.”

Both brothers majored in kinesiology with a minor in biology and a second major in communications. Their mother, Tisha McCollum, is a high school English teacher. Their grandparents, Teena Gauthier and Travis McCollum, also have an extensive background in education. Their father, Corey Carr, is a former Chicago Bulls basketball player. They’re represented by veteran NFL agents Brian Overstreet and Rodney Williams. Overstreet is a Sam Houston State alum.

“We connected very naturally, and we put all of our trust in them,” Zyon McCollum said. “The relationship is amazing.”

The brothers are watching the NFL Draft at their mother’s home near Dallas, Texas.

“This has a different feeling,” Zyon McCollum said. “We know how spontaneous the draft can be. We would love to keep playing together, but we understand that might not happen. We’ll be on the edge of our seats.”

Aaron Wilson is the NFL Insider for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL.