Nico Collins Reveals Why He Opted Out Of Michigan's 2020 Season
This week, Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed that senior wide receiver Nico Collins, who signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus, is not currently on the team, and said that he doesn't have a "crystal ball as to if his mind would change on that."
After Collins' appearance on ESPN's The Adam Schefter Podcast, it appears that the door has been officially closed on a Collins return, with the 6-4, 220-pounder revealing that he's currently training and preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft Combine at EXOS in Pensacola, Fla., all while taking online classes and finishing his degree.
Had things gone as planned and had the Big Ten not originally postponed the season back in August, Collins would be wearing a winged helmet this fall, something he intended on doing all along.
"I came back for my senior season," Collins told Schefter. "Everything was going smooth, just as planned, until the virus outbreak. One thing that really impacted my decision was when we were supposed to play. Our set day was Sept. 5 against Purdue. During that camp process, they canceled the season. That was heartbreaking for me, because I wasn't sure when the next time they would say [we can play]. They said in the spring, thanksgiving, it was too many unknown questions to answer. Nobody really had the answer to it.
"I just sat down with my family and I made a business decision, because I kind of felt like I was in no man's land for a minute, because I came back to play my senior season and they canceled it maybe three weeks before we played Purdue Sept. 5. It was supposed to be a home game. I had that marked on my calendar. Once they canceled that and they said they weren't sure when the next time we would have the season. They were saying towards spring.
"That's a time where I could prepare for the draft around December, January. After the bowl game. That was the set date they were saying, trying to push towards spring a little bit. I really just sat down with my family and made a business decision. I really appreciate my family helping me out with that. That was one of the reasons. Just too many unknown questions to be answering and nobody had answers to.
"Once I signed and got ready for the combine, that's when they came out with a statement to come back and they were going to have a season at the end of October to play Minnesota on the 24th. It was kind of late notice, 8 games stretch, I just didn't want to get injured, something bad to happen. It just didn't feel normal to me. I kind of just felt like everything was forced. I made the right decision. It's bittersweet, for sure. I want to be out there playing with my teammates and everything. I just had to make the right decision that was best for me."
That means Collins won't be out on the field in Minneapolis on Saturday night, but he will be watching and rooting for his former teammates.
"It will be bittersweet," Collins said. "I want to be out there competing on the football field with my brothers, my teammates. Just putting everything out there, going out and having fun with them. I'll be rooting for them, 100 percent. I'll be tuned in watching them play against Minnesota at 7:30 in primetime. I'm excited to see. Hopefully, they win. They will win. I believe in them. The grind they put in throughout the summer, I know they worked really hard and I know it's going to pay off on Saturday.
"I know they're going to perform well on Saturday. I'm excited to see them go out there and ball out."
Nico Collins Has High Hopes For Joe Milton
Schefter revealed that a Michigan staff member told him back in 2018 that Wolverines' redshirt sophomore Joe Milton has the potential to be the No. 1 overall pick. Collins didn't hold back with his praise for the signal-caller, either.
"I believe in that 100 percent," Collins said. "The things that Joe has — his skillset, his frame — I feel like he's an NFL-caliber quarterback. And his just arm, his ability, his quarterback mechanics are just amazing.
"I feel like Joe, he has potential. It's his first game starting at quarterback, and I feel like once he gets comfortable and realizes the game speed, he's gonna take off from there. The sky's the limit for him.
"He reminds me of [Patriots quarterback] Cam Newton. He's got that same body frame — he's 6-6, about 235, 240. He's ready. He's really on a mission right now, you can tell his time is now, and I feel like he's gonna take off."
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