How Nico Collins Has Continued to Emerge As Michigan's Primary Deep Threat

How Nico Collins Has Continued to Emerge As Michigan's Primary Deep Threat

Football

How Nico Collins Has Continued to Emerge As Michigan's Primary Deep Threat

Going into the 2018 season, the expectation was that second-year wideout Tarik Black was set to be the Wolverines deep threat. But, when he got injured before the season and was set to miss the first seven weeks, Nico Collins was the next man up.

And he’s been impressive all season long.

With his 36 yard touchdown reception, this was Collins’ seventh game of the season where he’s gotten a pass reception for 20 yards or more, and with 56 yards against the Scarlet Knights, it’s his fifth game with more than 50 yards receiving on the year.

As far as he’s concerned, there’s nothing special he’s doing that’s made him the deep-ball threat — he’s just going out and executing the play as asked.

“I just run my route and hopefully take the ball,” Collins said. “And when I run it, I expect the ball, I see it.”

Collins had two touchdown receptions, with his 36-yarder being a long play where quarterback Shea Patterson found him wide open in the end zone.

As far as he saw it, even Collins was surprised that no one was on him.

“I was not expecting the cornerback to pass me off,” Collins said. “I thought he had help on the top, but when the play started, nobody was there — so I was thinking one and one. Once he passed me off, Shea found me and I caught it.”

Collins and Patterson seem to be building a special rapport, which has continued to pay dividends as the season’s gone along.

While fellow second-year WR Donovan Peoples-Jones seems to be the favorite target overall, when Patterson looks deep, more often than not, Collins is the recipient. You saw it against Notre Dame, you saw it against Western Michigan. It happened against Maryland and Penn State, as well.

Collins says that the more the two play together, the more they trust one another: “Ever since he got here in the spring, we just found more and more connections every day and build that trust over time.”

Will Collins continue to ascend as the Wolverines primary deep-ball threat? We’ll find out more this upcoming Saturday, as Michigan hosts Indiana for the final home game of the 2018 season.

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