Michigan 49, Western Michigan 3

Tag: Nico Collins

30Aug 2018
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2018 Season Predictions

Nico Collins (image via Twitter)

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Karan Higdon emerged from last season as the de facto starting running back, and there’s no reason to think he’ll lose that job now, especially after adding about 15 lbs. of muscle in the off-season. Chris Evans projects to be the #2 guy.
Prediction: Karan Higdon, 1100 yards

The wide receiver position is a huge mess right now after the transfers of Eddie McDoom, Drake Harris, Maurice Ways, and Kekoa Crawford . . . and, oh yeah, the injury to Tarik Black’s foot. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a tight end lead the team in receiving yards, but I’ll go with Donovan Peoples-Jones. He’s one of four healthy scholarship receivers on the roster, along with Grant Perry, Oliver Martin, Ronnie Bell, and Nico Collins.
Prediction: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 750 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the season predictions.

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25Jul 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #34 Nico Collins

Nico Collins (image via Detroit News)

Name: Nico Collins
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 206 lbs.
High school: Birmingham (AL) Clay-Chalkville
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #4
Last year: I ranked Collins #68 and said he would be a backup wide receiver (LINK). He made 3 catches for 27 yards.
TTB Rating: 85

If the new redshirt rule had been in place in 2017, this is the type of player it would have benefited. Collins was a little bit raw early on, and more was expected from some upperclassmen. When Tarik Black got hurt and when the upperclassmen didn’t produce, the coaching staff burned Collins’s redshirt. He played for the first time in game seven, which immediately ruined his chances of keep his redshirt, since it was so late in the season. Collins made 1 catch against Rutgers and then finished the season with 2 catches for 15 yards against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. It was a forgettable first season, but I think it was significant that he forced his way onto the field.

Collins should be a more important piece of the offense this season. Going from #68 to #34 is a significant jump, and putting a guy with 3 career catches in the top third of the countdown might seem like a stretch. However, Michigan doesn’t have a ton of depth at wide receiver, because Kekoa Crawford is transferring, Maurice Ways is at Cal, and Drake Harris is at Western Michigan. Collins is part of the awesome 2017 wide receiver recruiting class that included Black, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Oliver Martin. Collins is probably the primary backup on the outside, and those guys get a lot of playing time. I think he’s a notch below Black and Peoples-Jones, but this has the makings of a stacked wide receiver corps. Last year the wideouts didn’t get a ton of targets, but Ole Miss had four wide receivers with 39+ catches (note: Michigan’s top WR in catches was Grant Perry with 25). If Michigan builds the offense around new quarterback Shea Patterson, Collins could be in for a big jump in production. I don’t think he’ll get to 39 catches because Michigan will still probably run the ball and employ several tight ends, but I could see 20 receptions for Collins.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver; 15 catches for 180 yards, 2 TDs

1Jan 2018
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Outback Bowl: South Carolina 26, Michigan 19

Take a deep breath. Take a deep breath. It’s hard after that game not to be very frustrated with the state of Michigan football, but I’ll say the same thing I said toward the end of the regular season: This was not going to be a great season from the beginning. Michigan lost almost everyone on defense from 2016, lost a bunch of production on offense, and lost three offensive line starters. They also didn’t get back their starting LT who got injured from last year, got their best WR hurt, and lost their starting four games into the year. If you’re an objective observer, you can probably admit that those are some huge, huge hurdles to overcome.

Hit the jump for the rest of the game discussion.

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21Jun 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #68 Nico Collins

Nico Collins

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Name: Nico Collins
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Pinson (AL) Clay-Chalkville
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Collins was a senior in high school. He caught 60 passes for 1,103 yards and 16 touchdowns.
TTB Rating:

The recruitment of Collins was a bit of a strange one. Michigan offered, he visited, and he loved it. He was rumored to be a silent commitment for several months, but then a late surge from Georgia seemed to pull him away. On a visit to Athens, he apparently was told some bad news that they couldn’t take him, and he ended up signing with the Wolverines. He might be the least hyped receiver of Michigan’s four wideouts in the class, and yet he’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #23 wide receiver, and #136 overall.

Collins is a large receiver, though not quite big enough to warrant rumors about switching to tight end. He’s not amazingly fast or shifty for his size, but he’s a huge target with a wide catching radius. He’s more likely to fend off defensive backs with a stiff-arm than a burst of speed, and that might be a good complement to the other guys on the roster. Recent experience with large receivers makes me think that he won’t be a heavy immediate contributor, but redshirts also seem to be a rarity. I think Collins will play this fall, but Michigan probably won’t rely on him for a ton of production.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver