Michigan WR Nico Collins keeps pace in faster college game

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Nico Collins prepped at Clay-Chalkville High in Pinson, Ala., and earned a four-star rating on Scout.com.

Ann Arbor – Michigan freshman receiver Nico Collins is quickly adjusting to college life, getting a feel for the campus and his new teammates, while learning that the college game is faster and more demanding.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Collins, who last Saturday after Michigan’s quarterbacks camp said he expected to begin working out in 7-on-7 drills this week after clearing the typical incoming-freshman paperwork and physical – timing varies based on when the freshmen arrive -- said it has been eye-opening already.

“It’s a major transition because everyone is just as good as me,” said Collins, a four-star recruit out of Alabama. “Out here, we’re just working. Iron sharpens iron, so we’re out here working every day.

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“It’s been fun. It’s been tough just coming from Alabama. Guys out here are pushing me, getting the feel for (things). They’re helping me out on everything. For the most part, it’s very fun.”

Collins said he already has learned that while there is a serious approach, everyone likes to have a good time while working out for football. So far he has staved off any homesickness, although he expects that will come, as it does for many out-of-state students.

“They’re all about business and like to have fun,” he said. “That’s what I like about it.”

He worked the camp last week helping the youngsters while also picking up tips on routes. He said early-enrollee freshmen receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black have been particularly helpful.

“It’s new for me right now, but I’m still helping those guys out,” Black said of his fellow freshmen. “I want those guys to learn fast so they can play right away, as well, so we can be a collective group and work together.”

Collins said he and Black and Peoples-Jones have spent time working on the Jugs machine and just talking and hanging out.

“Sometimes we go work out, extra work,” he said. “We’re good. We hang out.”

While he sat out the 7-on-7 drills after arriving last week, Collins said he listened and learned the plays. He knows he needs to work on his routes and footwork, and he also knows the quarterbacks throw harder and faster.

Everything, he said, is about the details, and everyone is helping him with those.

“The freshmen and older guys welcomed me in and have just been teaching me up from the get go,” Collins said.