By Joshua Huff, sports editor
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Former Clay-Chalkville football state champion Nico Collins announced on Sunday that he will return for his senior season at Michigan.
“I have always believed in finishing what I started,” Collins said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “Coach Harbaugh, Coach 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.”
Collins, a 6-foot-5 junior, had 37 receptions for 729 receiving yards with seven touchdowns this season. In his three years at Michigan, Collins has 78 receptions for 1,388 yards with 13 touchdowns.
“The man is a beast,” Michigan linebacker Josh Uche told MLive.com. “Everyone in the organization knew that, but anyone can be a practice All-American, but to see it come to fruition on game days is magical. Just knowing what someone is capable of doing and seeing them execute it is great to see.”
In the Citrus Bowl against Alabama, which happened to be a school that heavily recruited him, Collins recorded four receptions for 48 yards in the 35-16 loss to the Tide.
Collins recorded 2,000 yards over his final two seasons at Clay-Chalkville. He became Alabama’s top-ranked recruit at receiver during that span.
“He’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached, there’s no question about it,” former Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood said of the former five-star recruit. “His hands are extremely soft. And his catch radius with his arms is a little longer than most kids. He’s 6-5, but he’s 6-5 with really long arms. Combine that with having really soft hands and having the ability to dish out punishment when he needs to, or take the blows when he needs to, makes him a little different. There are some 6-5 kids that are really skinny and the idea is to body blow them so you can knock them out in the 10th round. Nico’s not that way.”