It was a quick question over lunch on Monday.

"So, how did Austin Collie do at the NFL Combine? I heard he didn't do so well," declared a curious Collie watcher.

Well, that wasn't the word I heard, but it was worth checking out with the man himself.

Collie, who led he nation in receiving this past year, declared for the NFL draft in January and will forgo his senior season at BYU to pursue a decent pro contract and extend his career to the next level.

It remains to be seen where he'll be drafted, if he'll be drafted, if he'll make a roster or how he'll perform.

But at the combine, Collie believes he helped himself in some areas. He doesn't believe he hurt himself.

"I did OK. I think I really did well in some things but struggled in others. Overall, I think it was a positive experience for me and I like my chances."

Collie ran a 4.55 time in the 40, which isn't as fast as his freshman year at BYU when he was clocked at 4.45. "I think I will run faster at Pro Day at BYU and in some of my workouts in the next month," Collie said.

Why? It could be due to the grueling nature of the NFL Combine. It's a scene designed to test not only physical skills, but patience, mental toughness and attitude. "It just wears you down and they are there to see how you react, what your demeanor is, how you battle it mentally and emotionally," Collie said.

"It's four days where it just grinds you down. There are a lot of ways you can handle it. It is tough. I think they're looking at you to see how you perform under pressure."

Collie finished eighth among receivers with 17 reps of the 225-pound weight.

He was sixth in the three cone shuttle with a time of 6.78 seconds and was fifth in the 60-yard shuttle run.

Collie is currently back at the training facilities operated by his agent in Manhattan Beach near Los Angeles where he's working out with other draft hopefuls including New Mexico's Glover Quinn and USC linebacker Rey Maualuga.

He plans to finish up this week, then fly back to Provo where he'll continue to train and undergo workouts for NFL teams who request a peek with other Cougars including linemen Dallas Reynolds, Ray Feinga, Travis Bright and David Oswald.

BYU's Pro Day is March 11.

Collie finished his BYU career on an upswing with the NCAA's No. 1 numbers.

He had 106 catches for 1453 yards and 15 touchdowns.

In days since his college career ended, Collie said he's learned just how much of a business the big league is — they don't mess around and they don't leave any stone unturned.

It was especially so at the combine. "The NFL is a business. Everything they do at the combine is very precise and very in-depth. They aren't going to leave anything to chance. If they are going to invest in you, they want to know everything about you. They do check you out."

Collie, who is represented by the same principle partner in a firm that signed Ty Detmer, said he has not had any feedback from his agent on how teams view him since the combine.

But it's early in the process.

So, to answer the question at lunch, Collie believes he did OK. He doesn't think he failed anything or started going backward.

The numbers speak for themselves. Not bad.

"I will do some things better in workouts to come," he pledged.

I believe him.

Last summer he told plenty of folks in Provo he would lead the nation in catches.

He did.

E-mail: dharmon@desnews.com