PROVO — It’s been 10 years since BYU's football team had Austin Collie catching footballs.
A few years before that, it was his brother Zac, and before that their father Scott was catching passes from Jim McMahon.
When Kalani Sitake opened fall camp earlier this month, the youngest in the Collie line, Hawaii senior transfer Dylan Collie, took to the field. While he has yet to catch a pass this season, his impact has been immediate.
The last time a Collie played in Provo, the team won 10 games.
Receivers coach Fesi Sitake said of Dylan: “Great leadership and very experienced. He gets hard on himself but he’s very driven and motivated. I’ve got to keep him as levelheaded as I can but he’s very well-intended. He picked up the offense as fast as anyone this summer and it’s a hard offense at that. He’s gone from being a learner to two weeks later being the teacher. He loves football.”
After watching his work the first day of practice, I told him he definitely looked like a Collie.
"That’s a compliment," Dylan said. "That is something that obviously I want to be, not just in terms of the last name but in terms of mentality, coming out with energy and trying to be a leader in every way, shape and form. You know, just being ready to learn from everybody around me."
It’s yet to be proven how Collie will deliver in games, but there is no question to those who’ve interviewed him in camp that he will be a go-to guy with reporters. He’s like Austin. He knows the game inside and out and puts things in perspective.
Here are some Dylan Collie quotes from BYU’s first week of fall camp. Much of his comments sound like they came from a coach.
On his first day:
“It’s tough there, in the beginning, to be patient with myself, knowing it’s the first day and wanting to go a thousand miles per hour all the time. That’s a difficult part. It will be good to go back and look at the film. We have 30 days. The countdown begins.”
On the struggles of last year, has it made players more hungry to win?
“I think you saw it today. Everyone is ready to go. Everyone knows that this is a new team and a new season and you might say it is even a new place for everybody because of the new coaches, the new staff, the new culture, it is like a fresh start for everybody. You saw it in the first meeting early this morning. You could see the excitement from period one. We’ll take it step by step and day by day.”
On helping teammates prepare this summer:
“It’s a really simple process. You work to become one as a team and you work on every single little thing every day. It’s very simple. There are no secrets or special formula. It’s a day-to-day thing. Some guys need to be shown it and there are things we all need to work on, things I need to improve on and together we go out and get it done.”
On how BYU's camp compares with Hawaii's:
“I think the level of excitement and what’s going on and where we are headed has added a lot of anticipation to the season. A huge part of it is the ability to surprise a lot of people with a very strong schedule. It feels really good to be in an environment where we are competing with the best in the nation.”
On how to be a leader among the receivers:
“I think every day is a new day to be a professional. Everybody has a goal of being elite at what we do. In order to do that, we need to come in every day and focus on what we need to do to be better and never be content with what happened yesterday. Another part of that is to bounce back from failures and mistakes. We dwell on them too long and we’ll end up being failures. The ability to grow every day and improve is a mentality that leads to us not being stopped.”
On how BYU’s approach is different:
“The things we are talking about in fall camp in terms of how we are planning things; how we are doing things; the amount of recovery and the focus on team (11 on 11) like we did today plus the ability to play actual football on the first day are important. Obviously, some guys need some individual stuff, but the chance to get out and prepare ourselves is important. We have 30 days. This isn’t some long, drawn-out four-month process. We have 30 days before we go in and start a very tough schedule.”
On the differences of having a QB named or a competition:
“The competition is what we need. If you’re sitting there content with being the only guy, then we’re in trouble. The best part about having guys who know how to ball out and play is that it takes pressure off of everyone. Then, the defense can’t sit there and worry about one guy.”
On picking up the new offense:
“It’s difficult; it’s very new. I’ve never been in a huddle before. I’ve been in no-huddle with signals and things like that. To be there and see and hear and understand what the quarterback is saying is a learning curve and something I’ll need to pick up on. That will come with time.”
On advice he's received from Austin:
“Just to be myself, man. That’s all it is. Every single day no matter where I’m at, just be myself; to be patient. If it doesn’t happen today, it may happen tomorrow, so take advantage of everything.”
On his memories of his brothers playing for BYU:
“It was 2000, I was about 13. I remember everything from 2000 to 2018. I remember being here when Zac was here, being over there in the Smith Fieldhouse and being here when I was 8 and sleeping on the couch and annoying Justin (McClure) and coach (Jay) Omer. That was my childhood. It’s great to be back and be a part of this thing.”
Another Collie journey begins anew.
How is that not a good move to push things forward in 2018?