He'd finished the ROTC program in college and had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. army on Thursday, according to officials.
The victim was stabbed to death by 22-year-old suspect old Sean Christopher Urbanski, a white student at the University of Maryland, in what was first described as a "totally unprovoked" attack, authorities said.
University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said Sunday evening at a press conference that he asked the FBI's field office in Baltimore to aid in the investigation after it was discovered that Urbanski belonged to a Facebook group, "Alt-Reich: Nation," which featured bigoted posts.
"Suffice it to say that it's despicable," Mitchell said. "It shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith and especially African Americans."
Mitchell said local police and the FBI will probe whether hate or bias was a motive in the murder. He said he had not seen specific postings from Urbanski on the website yet.
"We are here to evaluate that as an ongoing concern with respect to whether or not this was a hate crime," Gordon Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Baltimore, said at the press conference.
Urbanski has been charged with first and second-degree murder and first-degree assault and is being held in a county jail, officials said.
He was ordered to remain in jail without bond at a court hearing Monday afternoon, according to a clerk at the Prince George's County District Court.
Collins and two friends were near a bus stop on campus at around 3 a.m. Saturday when they were approached by the suspect, official have said.
The suspect approached the group and yelled at Collins, "Step left, step left, if you know what's good for you," Mitchell said.
A puzzled Collins looked at the suspect and said, "no," according to Mitchell.
"It was then that Sean Urbanski stabbed the victim in his chest," he said.
Collins was set to walk the graduation stage on Tuesday — at the same campus where he was killed. Bowie University uses the nearby University of Maryland campus for its graduation ceremony, Mitchell said.