Teammates Rave About Nico Collins' Potential

Teammates Rave About Nico Collins' Potential

Football

Teammates Rave About Nico Collins' Potential

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — It’s not an ideal situation mere days away from Michigan’s season opener against Notre Dame, but second-year wide receiver Tarik Black was lost for an indefinite amount of time after fracturing his right foot this weekend, head coach Jim Harbaugh announced.

But that doesn’t mean that the Wolverines are up the creek without a paddle.

Much has been made about Black’s significance after a solid three game outing to begin 2017 was derailed by the fracture of his left foot. However, as Michigan players are quick to point out, there’s more to the receiving corps than Tarik Black.

“Grant Perry can step up,” team captain and third-year left guard Ben Bredeson said. “We’ve got Nico Collins, Donovan (Peoples-Jones) – you know our receiving corps is loaded. Somebody will step up for them.”

And one of those aforementioned players has garnered the attention of one of the Wolverines star defensive players.

When asked on Monday which wide receivers have presented a challenge for the defense in fall camp, third-year linebacker and team captain Devin Bush Jr. didn’t hesitate in his answer.

“I like Nico Collins,” Bush said. “He’s a deep threat. He’s a big – he’s what — 6’5”? He’s a big, 6’5” guy, high-pointing the ball. He’s got speed. He can do it all.”

As WolverinesWire earlier reported, Collins — along with senior slot receiver Grant Perry — have been the most impressive players at the position in fall camp — and that comes before Black’s injury. Beyond that, Collins has impressed a variety of camp observers, and was named by several sources as being a standout overall on the team this fall.

The latter player mentioned himself shared that he’s impressed with Collins’ production in training camp.

Grant Perry knows what it takes to be a playmaker, as he enters his fourth season with the team. From his perspective, Collins has emerged as a real vertical threat for the Wolverines this season.

“He’s been balling, man,” Perry said. “He’s been catching everything. Real good deep threat, short threat – really anything. In the red zone as well, he’s been catching tough balls that are placed in the right position that are tough catches sometimes. He’s doing a really good job of grasping the offense as well, and not making nearly as many mistakes as last year in practice, which is positive to see.”

As far as what has led Collins to take such a massive step forward, Perry says that it’s all been due to his work he’s put in this offseason. Knowing that if he wanted to get a crack at playing time with so many talented wideouts, Collins had to do something to ensure he’d see the field early and often in 2018.

“I think he’s just hungry,” Perry said. “He wants to play and he wants to contribute to this team. It showed in the offseason. He put in the work and it showed in this camp.”

Back on the other side of the ball, Tyree Kinnel is entering his fourth year as the team’s safety, and was also just elected team captain.

As a leader on the team, as well as the secondary, as the free safety — the quarterback of the defensive backfield — Kinnel has also said that Collins has given the defense fits this offseason.

Citing ‘his size and speed’ as well as his ball control, Kinnel sees a player that’s going to present massive problems to opposing defenses.

“He’s definitely a tough challenge,” Kinnel said. “He’s so tall, so fast. And he’s gotten stronger over the year. He definitely brings a challenge to our defense to cover him with the corners and the safeties as well. He’s going to do good things this year.”

In 2017, Collins played in four games, and accumulated 3 receptions for 27 yards.

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