After signing several smaller/slot receivers in 2016, the UM staff needed big wideouts in the 2017 class. And they just added one of the biggest receiver’s in the entire class to its ridiculous wide receiver haul as Clay-Chalkville (AL) WR Nico Collins has officially committed to Michigan.
Collins has the elite size and frame that just needs a little more weight before he could become a dominant force on the outside in Michigan’s offense. Add in his athleticism and jump ball ability and he could give UM an offensive threat they’ve been missing for years, especially in red zone situations.
Though he’ll need to build up his frame a bit, he should have the chance to contribute early on in his career thanks to the departures of the top outside threats (Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh) before he even gets to campus. If he hits the weight room and the playbook, he should fight his classmates for meaningful reps during his freshmen year.
An outside wide receiver who has shown the ability to make plays down the field or across the middle. A very dependable wideout who catches the ball well in traffic. Has ideal size and length. Is more of a deep threat. Likes to run deep routes and can get behind defenders. A long strider who covers a lot of ground. Not elite quickness. Solid blocker and a very tough wide receiver.” – via Scout.com
Though he’s from the south and right in Nick Saban’s backyard, Michigan had an “in” with e talented wideout actually has family members that are originally from Detroit and just so happens to be Michigan fans. And that was just the door crack that the UM coaching staff needed to take a full run at Collins. Thanks to a long recruitment that dates back the staff offering him in October of 2015 and then pushing from there.
Though Michigan was pushing, Collins looked likely to stay home and play for the Crimson Tide. It wasn’t until the staff was able to get him on campus in mid-May that things started to really pick up. After that visit, he named UM his leader. Most still believed Bama would eventually win out, but it was when he visited Ann Arbor for the 2nd time in a month (in mid-June) that everyone truly took notice.
At The Opening, he was wearing UM gear and once again named UM his leader. That pushed me to put in my Crystal Ball prediction for Collins to Michigan.
And while Michigan remained to look like the landing spot throughout the fall, the winter was a different story. Thanks to a strong push from Georgia, Collins went from a near lock to a toss up heading into NSD.
But thanks to in-home visits from the staff and a push to remind Collins why he favored Michigan most of the time, the Wolverines were able to secure the LOI from the top receiver from Alabama on National Signing Day.
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 200lbs
- Hometown (School): Pinson, AL (Clay-Chalkville)
- Notable Offers: Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Miami (FL)
- Rankings: Scout (4*, #178 overall) – Rivals (4*, #120 overall) – 247(4*, #200 overall) – ESPN (4*, #150 overall)
- Composite Ranking: 4 star, #136 overall, #23 WR, #5 in Alabama
Highlights and Interviews
As for the Rest of the Class
Collins is the 30th (and likely last) member of the class, the 5th wide receiver addition and the 2nd player out of Alabama. With his addition, the staff wraps up the class with the best wide receiver haul on paper in recent memory.
Photo Credit: MaxPreps