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Cougars corner: Austin Collie doesn't want 'poster boy' label

Published: Thursday, April 28 2011 10:47 a.m. MDT

After an impressive rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts, former BYU wide receiver Austin Collie was establishing himself as one of the NFL's most reliable wideouts. But last fall he sustained a concussion in a Nov. 7 game against Philadelphia, which left him unconscious for 30-45 seconds. He suffered another concussion six weeks later, on Dec. 19, sparking questions about Collie's future in the NFL.

SI.com catches up with Collie and reports on his recovery in an article titled, "Austin Collie Clears His Head." It will be included in the May 2 edition of Sports Illustrated. Collie, who has been training since February without any concussion symptoms, says he is ready to play this season (whenever the lockout ends), despite the outcry from many fans and reporters that he should retire rather than risk permanent injury. “My body feels great, my head feels great,” Collie said. “I don’t want the label. I don’t want to be the poster boy for concussions.”

Added Collie: “People are entitled to their opinions about me, but they’re not the ones who’ve had the concussions. They’re not the ones who know how I’m feeling. I’ve got a family and a kid. I know there are more important things than football. If I get another (concussion), I’ll take into consideration what’s happened in the past. But every person is different, every body reacts differently. I’m ready to continue what I started in those first six weeks last year.”

The story includes the perspective of Collie's wife, Brooke. Her brother is Jordan Pendleton, a current BYU linebacker. When Collie sustained his second concussion, against Jacksonville, Brooke was watching the game with the couple's first child, Nash, who was nine days old.

Also, here's an interesting story out of Tufts University in the Boston area. Tufts freshman linebacker Atticus Swett is preparing to leave the Division III school to serve a two-year LDS mission.

"He's a person who stands by his principles, so that he's not swayed by some of the choices, some of the freedoms that are given to college kids," said Tufts defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Scott Rynne. "I think that's a pretty powerful thing. You can see why people are drawn to him or why people are drawn to his conversation when he can go out and do his missionary work."

The article also discusses Swett's missionary efforts around campus as he tries to clear up misconceptions about the LDS Church.

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