SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Super Bowl week produced a buzz in the hometown of Indianapolis Colts receiver Austin Collie.
In El Dorado Hills, where he played high school football, the Collie franchise name was alive, well and respected. He is even hailed as a great role model.
It's an interesting contrast to some in Utah who still harbor negative feelings towards Collie over what they claim "he implied" after a BYU win over Utah in 2007, when Collie declared hard work and living right can lead to magic on the football field.
"He is living the right way and doing the right things," said current Trojan head football coach Eric Cavaliere, an assistant coach when Collie played for Oak Ridge. "When a kid like that comes through, you want the best for him. He worked himself in that position. It's fun to see him reap those benefits."
"You can hear the kids talk about it," Steve White, current athletic director for Oak Ridge High School, told the Sacramento Sports Examiner. "For those who follow sports, this is kind of cool. It's a lot of attention for a local celebrity."
According to reports, many media outlets swarmed the campus at Oak Ridge looking for a local angle on Super Bowl XLIV and found it in Collie's story.
"It's the kind of attention we like," White said. "We want to be in the public eye for the right reason. He's a pretty great role model to be connected to. He's a great person and has good family values."
During a week off for the Colts, Collie returned home and met with local youth football players. He reportedly signed autographs for the Jr. Trojans for half an hour.
That was not lost on the community.
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