When Michigan returns this summer or fall for the upcoming 2020 season, the offense will be taking the field with a lack of experienced depth at the wide receiver position. But one of the key returners has gotten a lot of praise from offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.
Nico Collins will be one of the primary targets in Michigan’s offense next season, as well as Ronnie Bell. A year ago, Collins caught 37 passes for 729 yards and seven touchdowns, helping lead the Wolverines to a 9-4 record. The season before, Collins totaled 38 receptions for 632 yards and six touchdowns.
Collins has been a solid option in Michigan’s passing attack for two-straight seasons. And his combination of size, speed and athleticism makes him one of the best players at his position in the country, according to Gattis.
“Nico Collins, I firmly believe, is one of the best receivers in all of college football,” Gattis said, according to The Detroit News. “He’s excited just having a healthy offseason because that can go so far for you. And he also battled some nagging little injuries during the season last year, he missed some time the Middle Tennessee State game and then he missed the Illinois game.
“Now he feels like his body is finally healthy, and he’s able to work on his craft and it’s gonna pay off huge for him. I couldn’t be more excited about who he is as a player, as a young man and as a leader. Big time future, Nico Collins.”
There’s no question Collins will have to make some adjustments this season. Michigan will be welcoming in a new quarterback under center with Shea Patterson using his eligibility after the 2019 season. All four of the Wolverines’ starting offensive lineman from a year ago have also departed, which could be an issue early in the season.
But the positive is that Collins was a frequently-targeted receiver in the first year of Gattis’s offense coming to Michigan, so he has the experience in his favor. If he develops a chemistry with either Dylan McCaffrey or Joe Milton, he could see a major increase in his production.
Gattis believes the receiver has more than enough talent to take that next step.