What Impresses Pep Hamilton About WR Nico Collins

What Impresses Pep Hamilton About WR Nico Collins

Football

What Impresses Pep Hamilton About WR Nico Collins

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The hype train careening down the tracks for Michigan this offseason has had several compartments. Ranging from former five-star quarterback Shea Patterson to the offensive line — and obviously the defense — there’s been no shortage of proverbial cars in tow.

But one car was added and took off from the station just recently, and it came before the devastating news that wide receiver Tarik Black would be lost for an indeterminate amount of time after fracturing his right foot.

Several insider reports — including WolverinesWire’s own — had mentioned second-year wideout Nico Collins among the best wide receivers for the Wolverines in fall camp. Just about every player who would meet with the media corroborated those reports, saying various things about how special Collins could be this season.

“He’s been balling, man,” senior receiver Grant Perry said on Monday. “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.”

It’s one thing to get praise from your compatriots and peers. It’s another thing entirely to have the coaches in charge of your development concur with those lofty sentiments.

Such was the case on Wednesday, when Michigan pass game coordinator Pep Hamilton agreed with everything that the aforementioned had been saying — Collins has taken a big step forward this offseason.

Now the hope lies on how that translates from the practice field to the playing field.

“Wow, yeah he’s made tremendous strides over the course of training camp,” Hamilton said. “You know we’re excited to see that skill set and that production that he’s had throughout training camp, see that translate to gameday. So he’s a guy that we’re excited to see and he’ll have a ton of opportunities to make plays and we’re looking forward to it.”

So what is it about Collins that’s so special? What makes him different?

Hamilton gave specifics about what he does best, sharing the traits of a versatile receiver that can do more than just be a deep threat or a possession receiver.

From the sounds of it, Collins can do it all.

“He’s a big guy that can sink his hips,” Hamilton said. “For a big guy that has a long stride, long gait, he’s a guy that has enough quick twitch to transition from routes. Make the transition from deeper routes to shorter routes and run comebacks and digs and do all of the things we want our receivers to be able to do.”

We’ll know for certain just how good Collins has become on Saturday, as Michigan travels to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. Kickoff is slated for 7:30PM.

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