"Big picture” perspective helps BYU wide receiver Dylan Collie benefit while redshirting

As a wide receiver, Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Dylan Collie knows how important it is to run a route correctly. Sometimes, however, a receiver needs to adjust his route. A defensive back may bump him at the line of scrimmage, or the safety may cheat to one side of the field. In that case, properly adjusting the route becomes just as important as running the route the way it was drawn on paper.

Although he has been at BYU just a few months, Collie has already had to adjust his route. Keeping a “big picture” perspective of the situation has helped him benefit and improve during his freshman season. Even if he didn’t meet the initial expectations he had for his college career.

Dylan is the fourth Collie to come to BYU. All of the three previous Collies had at least one season with over 400 yards receiving and finished in the top four on the team in receiving yards. Dylan’s older brother Austin broke all the major BYU receiving records—career, season, and freshman—before leaving school a year early to play in the NFL.

Many, myself included, expected Dylan to continue the Collie legacy starting this season. As fall camp closed, it appeared he was poised to fulfill those lofty expectations. He had taken several reps with the first team offense. The question had seemed to change from if he would play to how much impact he would have.

Before Collie could get on the field, the coaches made what seemed a surprise decision. Collie would redshirt. 

That decision may appear peculiar, but Scott Collie, Dylan’s father, said, “I see a lot of benefit for him to redshirt and then come back and play four years.”

The Collie patriarch continued, “You don’t know what the thinking is of the coaches. There is a strategy. There is definitely thought that goes into it. It’s not just 'we’re going to redshirt this kid.' It is truly a strategy; a balance in the numbers game.”

Scott Collie pointed out BYU had several wide receivers returning from the 2011 team and missions who had the opportunity to contribute. The top three receivers from last year were back, and they would be joined by return missionaries Brett Thompson and Mitch Mathews, as well as a handful of other receivers who had patiently been waiting their turn.

When coaches decide to redshirt a player, he becomes a member of the scout team. That is one of the benefits Scott Collie sees for his son this season. Scout team members on the offensive side of the ball practice the upcoming opponent's offense and run plays against the starting defense.

Collie said his son “is thoroughly impressed with the [BYU] defense.” He explained that, in addition to playing wide receiver, Dylan has filled roles on the scout team as a running back and wildcat quarterback.

The 2012 BYU defense is a top 10 defense nationally. Former BYU quarterback, and current student assistant coach, Max Hall has said that playing on the scout team against a good 2006 BYU defense was a key factor in his immediate success when his time to play came. While playing on the scout team is not glamorous, playing against the 2012 BYU defense is a definite plus.

Scott Collie insists, “No question, there is a benefit from it.”

Redshirting may have been the lesser of two evils, so to speak, for Dylan this season. One reason he came to BYU was because he wanted to be in a passing offense. With his family’s BYU history Dylan hadn’t just heard about the Cougars prolific passing attack, he had witnessed it. However, injuries and inexperience have prevented the 2012 Cougars from mimicking the aerial prowess of years past.  

As a former BYU wide receiver, and a father, the limited use of the wide receivers this year has concerned Scott Collie. Had his son played this year, as opposed to redshirting, it may have felt like a year of wasted eligibility. Cody Hoffman is the only BYU receiver with more than 300 yards receiving, so far, this year. Outside the “big 3” returning from 2011, only one wide receiver has double digit receptions.

Realizing that Dylan may have just a handful of receptions through 10 games helps the Collie family stay positive about this year. They feel that BYU will have the passing game back up to speed when Dylan returns from his mission and plays four consecutive years from 2015 to 2018.

Dylan has already received his mission call. He reports to the Missionary Training Center on January 16, 2013, and will serve in the Virginia Richmond Mission.

Just as Scott Collie has found positives resulting from his son redshirting, he sees the pending two-year mission as a positive. Dylan has displayed an excellent work ethic this year, and that won’t change after his mission. In fact, the mission will help him learn to work even harder.

Editor’s note: Scott Collie recently founded Receiver Tech. For complete information about Receiver Tech and what it offers, click here to be directed to home page. 

Receiver Tech will hold a clinic November 17 in the Denver, Colorado, area. For more information on how to enroll, click here

Receiver Tech focuses on two goals: Skills training and competition for wide receivers. While coaches have limited time to emphasize training so they can focus on game planning, Receiver Tech doesn’t. This allows time for players to receive elite training on the intricacies of playing the wide receiver position correctly. 

Receiver Tech participants also have the opportunity to compete one-on-one and showcase their talents. Last year the top 25 receivers were given the opportunity to catch passes at the ESPN Elite 11 competition for quarterbacks. 

Scott Collie’s techniques and training methods have resulted in his three sons playing college football at the FBS level, and one has been a successful receiver with the Indianapolis Colts. 

Receiver Tech has been endorsed by Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, and Super Bowl Champion Jim McMahon.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com


  1. Great family, good luck to Dylan over the coming years.


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