EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. — This past season didn’t go as planned for Cougar commit Dylan Collie for both his present and future football team — not even close. Two drastic and unexpected position changes at quarterback put both BYU’s and Oakridge High School’s season plans in flux.
BYU fans are well aware of what went down at quarterback for their team this past season. They’ve argued about it, along with pundits; but when the dust settled, Jake Heaps moved on with Riley Nelson taking the reins as BYU’s starting quarterback into next season.
Collie, who previously spoke of excitement to play with a QB like Heaps, was very aware of the proceedings at the team’s most critical positions. While some recruits expressed surprise and even shock when Heaps decided to transfer, Collie was long expecting it.
“I had a feeling that things weren’t going to work out for him at BYU after the Utah game,” he said. “I like Jake and I wanted to play with him for that year before my mission, but yeah, from what I saw, it didn’t surprise me at all when I heard that he was going to transfer.”
Collie has been surrounded by people close to or inside the program since he can remember. His dad, Scott Collie; both of his brothers, Zac and Austin; and even his brother-in-law, Jordan Pendleton, logged time with the Cougars, allowing him some unique insights.
Those insights into BYU’s program played big in deciding that it was the right place for him out of high school. Holding with family tradition, the youngest Collie brother worked his tail off in the offseason to prep himself for his final senior season at Oakridge before moving on to BYU where, like his father and his brothers, he’ll be playing at wide receiver.
Things started off according to plan with Collie playing the first four games at wideout, helping Oakridge to get out to a 3-1 record. He was also able to compile some notable stats, including a performance against Cordova where he caught nine passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns in roughly just one half of work during his team’s 59-0 blowout win.
During the team’s fifth game of the year against Fairfield, Collie’s season took a dramatic turn.
“We’re playing in the game and Jason Samuels, who was our quarterback, can’t throw the ball even 15 yards with any accuracy,” he recalled. “I asked him what was wrong during the game and he says he doesn’t know, but here’s a guy who can throw it 50 yards without any problem having a hard time completing anything.”
Samuels went in for x-rays, and it was soon learned that he had broken his collarbone, forcing coaches to go to his backup — Collie.
“I was bummed about it at first and probably didn’t have exactly the right attitude, but that quickly changed when I saw how much the team needed me to play well,” said the 5-foot-10 prospect. “It wasn’t pretty at first — I was very much a running quarterback, but I started to settle in and we were able to win some games and make the playoffs.”
Collie didn't go into the starting QB position cold, however. Due to the presumed backup going down with an ACL injury just prior to the start of the season, he'd been taking some reps during practice under center.
Collie started the next four games before coaches brought up JV starter Jacob Sipes. His performance over those four games weren’t exactly pretty, but they did manage two wins regardless, keeping his team alive for postseason play.
Collie's best effort at QB probably game against Ponderosa, where he completed 11 of 21 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m no Tanner Mangum, that’s for sure,” laughed Collie. “I have a decent arm, though, but my accuracy could use a lot of work. Looking back, I’m grateful to have had that experience — it was fun. I think it helped a lot knowing that it wasn’t my last year, that I’d have a chance to play wide receiver again for four years at BYU.”
A lot of the players Collie will be playing with while at BYU will be in Provo this coming weekend on their official visits. Since committing back in late May, Collie has gone about forging friendships with his fellow commits while doing his best to help with the recruiting effort.
“I know almost everyone that will be there this weekend very well, but there’s a couple of guys I’m anxious to get to know better,” he said. “Guys like Butch Pau’u and Phillip Amone are guys that I’ve talked with and whom I consider to be friends, but I want to get to know them better for sure.”
Collie is also anxious to get to BYU after graduating to form some good synergy with BYU’s presumed starting quarterback in 2012, Riley Nelson.
“I love how Riley plays and how he competes,” Collie observed. “You want to play with a guy like that, and I’ve been very impressed with what he was able to do after he became the starter. I’m very excited to start practicing with him, and I’m excited about the future of BYU football and I‘m very honored to have the chance to be a part of their great program.”