Oak Ridge junior Dylan Collie made a verbal commitment to attend Brigham Young University in 2012 last week, continuing a family tradition of Cougar receivers that began with his father, Scott, and continued through his brothers, Zac, then Austin.
Austin was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts and became a favorite target of future hall-of-fame quarterback Peyton Manning during the Colts’ 2009-10 Superbowl season.
In a frank interview two days after the announcement, Dylan made it clear that BYU wasn’t a shoo-in. “I wanted this to be my decision … to put the family thing aside, so I looked around.”
But in the end, he realized, “BYU is where I belong.”
He credits offensive coordinator Brandon Doman and wide receiver coach Ben Cahoon, both new on the job, for sealing the deal. “I know both of these guys and I’m comfortable with them,” Dylan said.
Cahoon was the Canadian Football League’s all-time leading receiver, known for his work ethic and for playing larger than his size, traits shared by all four Collie receivers.
Dylan won’t officially tie the knot with BYU until national signing day in February 2012, but said he’s glad the decision is behind him.
“Recruiting is a huge distraction,” he said — a distraction that a Trojan football program that hasn’t won a playoff game in six years can ill afford.
“We’re inexperienced at quarterback, and we’re not even sure who the other wide receiver is going to be,” Dylan said. “My main goal … is to win some games next season and get us into the playoffs.”
As college receivers go, Dylan is still small at 5 feet, 10 inches and 176 pounds. Austin was roughly the same size as a high school junior.
Both his brothers enjoyed growth spurts between ages 17 and 20. Dylan is ready for his to kick in.
The Collies are devout Mormons. Austin and Zac interrupted their college careers for a two-year church mission. Dylan hopes to follow suit, playing football the fall of 2012, leaving in January, 2013 and returning for the spring semester of 2014.
Both his brothers married soon after returning from their missions. Assuming the right girl is available, Dylan said he’d like to follow his brothers’ lead in that regard as well. The most likely candidate is Vista High School student Kendell Moore. His girlfriend is “gorgeous, funny and she’s an athlete,” he said. But 2014 is a long way away.
In his junior year Dylan caught 43 passes for 548 yards, scored eight touchdowns and played safety on defense. He credits the other Trojan wide receiver, senior Willie Tucker, with much of his late season success.
Dylan called Tucker “a big physical guy” who “manhandled anyone that got in his way.”
Tucker stepped up his game midseason, forcing opposing teams to focus on the big man. “That freed me up tremendously,” said Dylan.
Dylan’s biggest game was the two-day marathon playoff loss in Stockton. He caught seven passes for 130 yards, returned five kicks for 110 yards and scored two touchdowns.
When a Collie scores a touchdown there’s no pointing or dancing. Scott Collie, the father, played at BYU with two future Superbowl quarterbacks and taught his sons to “act like you’ve been there before.”
Can Dylan Collie follow his brother all the way to the NFL? “I think I’ve got a pretty good shot,” he said. “I surround myself with good people.”
It helps when one of them is named Peyton Manning. Dylan attends the Manning summer camp for high school quarterbacks and receivers with his brother Austin.
“Peyton a cool guy,” he said. “He’s really helped Austin.”
Dylan reports that his big brother, who suffered multiple concussions late in the Colts 2010 season, is “ready to go.”