Michigan receiver Nico Collins to return for senior season

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Nico Collins says he has "unfinished business" at Michigan.

The receiver announced Sunday on Twitter he will return for his senior season.

Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins announced Sunday he will return for his senior season.

"I have always believed in finishing what I started," Collins tweeted. "Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, Coach (Josh) Gattis and staff have helped me grow as a player and as a person. Another season with our coaching staff will allow me to continue to work on my skill and development which will prepare me for the next level. With that being said, we have unfinished business."

The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Collins led the Wolverines with seven touchdown catches this season, and was second on the team to Ronnie Bell with 37 catches for 729 yards (for a team-leading 19.7 yards per catch).

Collins' news comes a day after fellow receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones declared for the NFL Draft. Another receiver, Tarik Black, is in the NCAA transfer portal.

Before Michigan’s appearance in the Citrus Bowl, Collins said he planned to discuss his future with his family after the game. Collins has never been a big look-at-me player, and he applied that shrug-his-shoulders approach to weighing his options and was more focused on the game than his future.

“As a kid I kind of always liked being the low-key guy,” Collins said at the time. “I never liked the hype. I never liked my name everywhere; I just always kind of liked to prove people wrong. That's always been my mindset growing up and it still is. I just want to show people what I can do and what I'm capable of doing.”

Collins could be a mismatch problem for defensive backs and often used that to his advantage drawing pass interference calls on his defenders. Tight end Nick Eubanks, who announced before the bowl game that he would be returning for the 2020 season, said Collins uses his size and catches “everything."

“Most people don’t see it, but he’s a big, mean dude in terms of getting what he wants and getting what he needs,” Eubanks said late last season about Collins.

Receiver has been a position of depth for the Wolverines and several talented, fast receivers return, including Bell, who led the team with 48 catches for 758 yards, and Giles Jackson, who had 57 yards on four catches including a 40-yarder against Alabama in the bowl game. They’ll be entering their second year under Gattis, the offensive coordinator and receivers coach.

Peoples-Jones’ departure comes a day after center Cesar Ruiz announced his decision to forgo his final season for the NFL.

Michigan will have a first-time starter at quarterback working behind an offensive line that must now replace four starters — left tackle and two-time first-team All-Big Ten Jon Runyan, All-Big Ten first team left guard Ben Bredeson and right tackle Michael Onwenu are all gone and backup Stephen Spanellis announced after the bowl game that he will be a graduate transfer.


Twitter: @chengelis