Austin Collie is a third-year wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts. I met Austin when he was a freshman at BYU in 2004 and have followed his football career ever since. Over the years our families have bonded and I have been impressed with his hard work, dedication and success on and off the field. I caught up with Austin last week and here is part of our conversation.
Hansen: Are you glad you left BYU after your junior year?
Collie: It's funny because (my wife) Brooke and I always talk about that. I have been so fortunate after leaving BYU. It was hard to leave because I loved playing at the Y. I had all my friends there. It would have been easy to stay, but I was comfortable. I never blinked about coming out early and going into the draft. I am so glad I did come out early. If I hadn't I might have been on an entirely different NFL team, with a different playbook and an entirely different experience.
Hansen: What is the worst part about playing in the NFL?
Collie: The hits you take, the injuries and how your body feels after a game. In the NFL the pressure and stress can be overwhelming at times.
Hansen: You had three concussions and missed seven games last year. Give me an update on your health?
Collie: It took me a while to get back into it. I am finally starting to feel like my old self so I hope to play well the second half of the season.
Hansen: Through eight games last year you had 50 catches for 562 yards and eight touchdowns. Through eight games this season you have 20 catches for 183 yards and zero touchdowns. What is the big difference from last year to this year?
Collie: The injury of Peyton Manning has hurt us. He is our leader and our foundation. So with Peyton out we are running the ball a lot more and the two positions that decrease in touches are the tight ends and slot receivers. It has been tough to lose so many games in a row but I have high hopes for the second half of the season.
Hansen: How is Peyton, and will he come back?
Collie: I don't know and I try not to talk about that. Obviously, we all hope he will come back as soon as possible. He is a huge part of our team. He realizes he is the foundation of our team and we need him. He is a great guy and I hope he gets back soon.
Hansen: Tell me something about your wife Brooke that no one knows?
Collie: She loves sports more than me. Her favorite sport is basketball.
Hansen: How many children do you have?
Collie: We have a little boy named Nash and we are expecting another little boy in February 2012. We are really excited.
Hansen: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Collie: My brother, Zach. He is the one that has always given me great words of wisdom. He has always been very honest with me and has always kicked me in the butt when I was out of line. He always gives it to me straight and I respect that.
Hansen: Why do you love football so much?
Collie: The reason I love to play is because I know it's something I'm good at. I feel like I was given the talent to play this game and I want to see if I can reach my highest potential.
Hansen: What is your favorite electronic device?
Collie: iPad. I have all my game film, our playbook and all my notes on it. It is the one thing I carry with me the most.
Hansen: In 2007 when you beat Utah, your famous quote after the game was "Obviously, if you do what's right on and off the field, I think the Lord steps in and plays a part in it; magic happens." If you could go back, would you still say that?
Collie: As far as the magic deal, I still believe that when you're doing things right in your life, the Lord presents you with blessings and opportunities to excel.
Hansen: What is your favorite scripture?
Collie: Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 'Doubt not, fear not.' It's simple and true. It's really all you need in life and what it all comes down to in life. Whenever doubt, fear and/or loss of hope arises, or whenever you are going through struggles, our Heavenly Father is always with you and can help you no matter what is going on in your life.
Hansen: Your little brother Dylan will play wide receiver for BYU next season. What advice would you give him and other young athletes?
Collie: Be patient. Expect yourself to be perfect but know you won't be perfect. Work ethic exceeds talent. Work hard and believe in your dreams.
Hansen: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Collie: I hope to still be playing in the NFL. I would love to play for 12 or 13 years.