At 6-4 220 lbs., Michigan wideout Nico Collins has the size and tools most would choose if they could create their own receiver. He is big, strong, and fast, three traits you cannot teach, but it is more than just size that sticks out about Collins. The draft buzz on the Alabama product has been constant. A guy that uses his size well. Can run all the routes, and has the good hands that coaches covet. I had the opportunity to sit down with the 2021 draft prospect, and ask him about the pressures of playing at the highest level of football? We will also touch on his recent draft buzz, and who he is away from the gridiron?
“Man, I am a pretty simple guy. Away from football, I am a family man. A guy that likes to be around his loved ones. The ones that have been with me from day one. I have my why! My family does a lot for me, both mentally and emotionally. Without them, I would be nothing, so I am all about them. Right now I am focused on playing football. Getting ready to be in the Combine and other things. I need to be the best version of myself. I promised myself and my family I would put on a show, and work my heart out. So that is my focus. As cliché as it is, I am focused on what I can control. All the rest will fall in together. God willing if he sees it fit I will be playing at the next level.”
In his time at Michigan, Collins caught 78 passes for close to 1400 yards and 13 scores. Although he never had more than 730 yards in any one season, the tools have shined his entire career. He was an amazing addition to the University of Michigan. Collins came into school with a lot of hype, and needless to say, he has not disappointed. I asked Collins, what it was like to deal with all the pressures of the draft buzz, and the hype he has received?
“It is all just talk. I don’t let it get to me. I feel like people can love you and hate you all in the same breathe. I have played at the highest level of college football. So I know what it is like to make a mistake and get destroyed for it. So I take the good and the bad the same way. You have to let it go in one ear out the other. I can’t let the words people say define me. I want to be great. A great player and teammate. I want to be great at all I do, and I think if I get caught up listening to all the hype, could fall off. It just is just like the draft. I can’t let this define me. Or the work I put out has to outshine all the hype. I can’t even focus on it. You will relax, and it won’t work. I have gotten this far, and if I sit-still I will waste it. Or this will all be a waste for me.”
Before I sat down with Collins, I reached out to the same scouting source I use for these interviews and asked him his thoughts on Collins, play?
“I don’t know if I saw a guy with more hype coming out of high school than Nico Collins. Maybe the kid from Alabama, Najee Harris. But this guy can play. I feel like some of the issues he had at Michigan had nothing to do with him. If I’m honest, he played with some tough quarterbacks. I don’t mean that in a good way. They were tough to watch. That hindered Collins, I feel. He still had some great games. He still made plays, and to me, that is a sign of a guy who can flat out play. Despite the bad play around him, he still shines. I think if he plays at Alabama, with one of these star quarterbacks. We would be talking about Collins as the best wideouts in college football. He has that kind of talent to me. But you know that is just my opinion, and it is what it is. He is a guy I love to watch. I like his tape, and I think he will help a team at the next level. Should be fun to watch at the next level.”
Rightfully so, the draft buzz on Nico Collins has positive implications. He can do it all on the outside. As well as play in traffic. He has the size you love for a wideout and the speed to pull away from defenders. He has the skill set to be a difference-maker at the next level. Like I always say, watch the film and make up your mind. The tape doesn’t like, and what the tape says here is Nico Collins, can be a star in the NFL.