Austin Collie #17 WR
Height: 6-0 Weight: 204 Age: 27
Born: 11/11/1985 Hamilton , Ontario
College: Brigham Young
Experience: 5th season
High School: Oak Ridge HS [El Dorado Hills, CA]
Selected By: Indianapolis Colts
Pick (Overall): 27 (127)
A strong, physical receiver and outstanding route runner, Collie is perhaps the team's most outspoken player since Jim McMahon played for the Cougars three decades ago. A fiery performer, he will long be known for his impassioned speech he gave the team at halftime vs. Air Force that sparked the team to rally to victory in 2008.
The Cougars went to the locker room after once leading 10-0, before having the margin wiped out -- then failing to score from the 2-yard line after a pass was deflected and intercepted in the end zone. "Austin just told us that we're better than this," Brigham Young quarterback Max Hall said of his best friend Collie's words. "He said, 'This is not who we are; this is not how we play.' He got us all fired up and ready to go for the second half."
Hall rebounded to produce a game-clinching touchdown drive that finished with a pretty 45-yard pass to Collie. It was a third-and-8 before that, deep in BYU territory, that had Air Force coach Troy Calhoun shaking his head. He pointed out the critical moment when he attacked with Chris Thomas, who reached Hall on a backside safety blitz with the Cougars ahead just 31-24 in the fourth quarter. Hall spotted Collie for the first down. "Instinct or whatever, he got rid of the ball just in time. That was a big, big play because if we'd have got the ball back, who knows what would have happened," said Calhoun.
Collie's career was sandwiched around a two-year church mission. In just three seasons with the team, he would close out his collegiate career as the holder of several school records. His 106 receptions for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2008 were all BYU season marks. He was the first Cougar to register 11 100-yard receiving performances in the same campaign and his 2,112 all-purpose yards in 2008 set another school record.
His 2008 performance also rearranged several record charts in the Mountain West Conference. His receptions that year rank third, his receiving yards rank second and his 15 scores set a conference annual record. He also set MWC marks with 11 100-yard receiving games, including 10 consecutive. His 2,112 all-purpose yards are the second best in league annals.
Collie also etched his name in the career record sheets. He registered 17 100-yard receiving games, caught 215 passes for 3,255 yards and caught 30 touchdown passes to become the new owner of those records. Those receptions placed sixth in conference annals, while his receiving yardage rank fourth and his touchdowns set an all-time mark. Only three other MWC players ever amassed more than his 4,649 all-purpose yards.
At Oak Ridge High School, Collie earned Prep Star and Super Prep All-America honors, in addition to being named the Sacramento Bee's Most Valuable Player and voted Northern California's Most Valuable Player. The all-metro selection added first-team all-section and all-state recognition and was a nominee for the 2003 California Mr. Football Award.
As a senior, Collie had 60 receptions for 978 yards and was credited with 24 touchdowns, including 18 on receptions in his final season. He also posted 1,654 all-purpose yards and scored 196 points. He totaled 56 receptions for 857 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior on offense. On defense, he recorded 53 tackles (26 solos) and was credited with two interceptions.
Collie became the third member of his family to letter on the Brigham Young football team. His father, Scott, suited up for the Cougars as a receiver from 1979-82 and later played for the Hamilton Tigercats in the Canadian Football League. Austin's brother, Zac, was also a receiver at BYU (2004-06).
In 2004, Collie earned Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors. The second-team Freshman All-America pick by The Sporting News set the school freshman records for touchdown receptions (eight) and receiving yards (771), as he led the team with 53 receptions. His average of 4.8 receptions per game made him the NCAA's freshman statistical leader for that season.
Collie spent the 2005-06 campaigns serving on a church mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He returned to the gridiron in 2007, starting seven games at the "Z" receiver position. He was bothered by an ankle sprain and bruised ribs, but pulled down 56 passes for 946 yards (16.9 avg.) and seven touchdowns. He also returned 28 kicks for 723 yards, ranking second in the Mountain West Conference with a 25.82-yard average. He earned All-MWC second-team honors as a receiver and also on special teams.
The Biletnikoff Award finalist earned All-America and All-MWC first-team honors in 2008. He led the nation in receiving yards per game with 118.31 and total yards receiving with 1,538. He was third nationally in receptions per game at 8.15 and total catches with 106, fourth in the NCAA in touchdown catches with 15, which set both school and league season records.
After the season, Collie announced he would forgo his final year of eligibility and entered the 2009 NFL Draft. He became the third player at the school to ever declare early for the draft, joining offensive lineman John Tait in 1999 and running back Luke Staley in 2002. He received advice from several former BYU players currently in the NFL and from his older brother, Zac, who had a free-agent tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006. "They told me to strap on a seat belt," Collie said. "It's a different ride."
"I think I have a lot to offer," Collie said. "I'm a receiver who can catch the ball and run routes. The only question now is speed. I'm going to work my butt off for the next few months to improve that and prove I'm fast enough to play at the next level. It's not just about football. I've grown not only in football but in the classroom and in my life. To be able to go through the last three years at Brigham Young as a flag bearer for this university, when Coach Mendenhall says that, I honestly believe in that."