Wide receiver Collie Says He and Colts May be Good Fit
INDIANAPOLIS – Austin Collie thought on draft day he liked his situation.
Collie, a wide receiver from Brigham Young University, said shortly after his selection in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft that he thought the Colts were a good fit not only for a wide receiver, but for the style with which he plays.
Shortly thereafter, Collie attended the Colts' rookie camp.
The experience didn't change his opinion. Not a bit.
"It's a dream come true," Collie said during the Colts' rookie camp, a three-day event that ended recently at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "I'm happy to be here with the organization, and to be able to learn the playbook with the Indianapolis Colts is a dream come true."
Collie (6-feet-0, 200 pounds), who opted to forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility to declare for the NFL Draft, was one of the most productive players in college football this past season.
A quick, intelligent receiver who Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said has the ability to find holes and seams in coverages, Collie – the No. 127 overall selection in the fourth round – caught 215 passes for 3,255 yards in three seasons at BYU.
He spent two seasons on a church mission, then caught 106 passes for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns this past season.
And Colts President Bill Polian said Collie is similar in style to a player familiar to Colts fans.
The player? Former wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who played four seasons for the Colts, catching 10 touchdown passes for more than 1,000 yards in 2004.
"If you think (former Colts wide receiver) Brandon Stokley – let's hope he turns out to be as good, but the style at the collegiate level is very similar," Polian said, adding that Collie has "good hands, great routes and is a good, slot receiver."
Collie, who said he met Colts quarterback Peyton Manning briefly during mini-camp, said the weekend was about learning and getting accustomed to the Colts' way of doing things.
"It was fun and exciting," he said. "It was also fun just watching how the coaches react."
Collie, who led the nation in receiving yards as a junior, said he also watched closely first-year veteran Taj Smith during the three-day session.
"I was able to watch him and see how he does things," Collie said. "I learned a lot. They are smart and know what they are doing. It was easy to pick things up."
While Collie played slot receiver in college, and while he was compared to Stokley – who often played the slot with the Colts – on draft day, he said his goal is to not be a slot receiver or an outside receiver, necessarily, but whatever kind of receiver is needed.
"I think I can play anywhere they need me to play," he said, adding of his collegiate productivity, "Honestly, I think it takes a good receiver to have those numbers. No matter what the system is, or what the system does, or how it's aligned, a receiver who has 1,500 yards and 100 catches – I think it takes a pretty talented receiver.
"There are a lot of guys we spread the ball around to. It wasn't only me, but when the ball did come to me, I made plays."
And as for the team for which he'll be making plays in the NFL, Collie said he feels the same as he did on draft day:
That there really couldn't be a better fit.
"It's perfect," Collie said. "It couldn't be better. I couldn't have picked it any better. This is a great organization and a good transition from BYU to here. They run things in a very similar fashion. The coaching staff is phenomenal. You have guys who have great character and who work hard and who are technicians. . . .
"It's probably the best spot. I couldn't be happier. I wanted the best fit for my style of play and for what they want out of their players, I think that's what I got. It's a blessing to go into a spot and go to a team you've always grown up watching, especially a team like the Indianapolis Colts that throws the ball.
"What receiver wouldn't want to go there?"