I believe that the potential of what Fesi can do with the receivers, there really is no ceiling on it, especially with his history and background and having been an offensive coordinator and a quarterbacks coach. —Dylan Collie, on Fesi Sitake
PROVO — In what turned out to be his final game at the University of Hawaii, wide receiver Dylan Collie played against BYU, the team for which he started his collegiate career in 2012.
Now, as a graduate transfer, Collie could return to the Cougars.
During Christmas break and into early January, he and his wife, Savannah, decided to explore other opportunities with his final year of eligibility. Collie is deciding between BYU and Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference.
“Definitely can’t go wrong with those options,” he said Wednesday during a phone interview. That decision could come within the next month.
Earlier this week, new BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and new receivers coach Fesi Sitake paid Collie a home visit in Hawaii.
“It was really good. I enjoyed talking to those guys. It was being able to focus on everything they’re wanting to accomplish at BYU and take a perspective of, this is a new place rather than a place I’m familiar and comfortable with,” Collie said. “Hearing them talk about everything they want to accomplish with the offense and creating a culture that’s kind of a traditional BYU culture, it was a good conversation. They’re guys who want to get after it. They have a certain plan they want to execute and from the conversation that we had, they have the tools to do it. I really do appreciate them coming out and making that visit. That shows a lot.”
Collie had met Grimes previously, back when Grimes was the offensive line coach on the staff that coached Collie’s older brothers, Austin and Zac, from 2004-06.
Dylan Collie, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound native of El Dorado Hills, California, was impressed with Sitake.
“I believe that the potential of what Fesi can do with the receivers, there really is no ceiling on it, especially with his history and background and having been an offensive coordinator and a quarterbacks coach,” Collie said. “I do like everything that I’ve heard and all the conversations I’ve had with Fesi.”
Collie played in 39 games and caught 118 passes for 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons with the Rainbow Warriors. He caught six passes for 103 yards, including a 44-yard reception, against BYU in the Cougars’ 30-20 victory in Honolulu in November.
Collie redshirted in 2012 at BYU before serving an LDS mission in Richmond, Virginia, and then transferring to Hawaii. A change in the offensive coaching staff at BYU during his mission heavily influenced his decision to transfer.
During this week's home visit, Grimes laid out his offensive philosophy to Collie.
“He plans to formulate the offense to the strongest personnel, knowing where the strengths are and utilizing that and knowing that the guys he’s hired around him are what he believes to be the best staff there’s ever been at BYU," Collie said. "He wants to create an offense that’s understandable and that's able to get in and out of all situations.”
Something that is attractive to Collie about BYU and Vanderbilt is that both programs are in dire need of a veteran wide receiver who can contribute immediately.
“That is something I look at in a major way," he said. "That’s a big part of it.”
Collie grew up as a huge BYU fan. His dad, Scott, played for the Cougars and he watched Austin, who is one of BYU’s all-time leading receivers, and Zac play in Provo. Austin currently lives in Utah.
“Being in Utah, being close to family, that’s something that’s important," Dylan said. "Being able to have that as a place where my wife and I can feel comfortable and won’t take much adjusting, that’s pretty big. There are so many positives on the football side with the fan base and knowing that support is there, is something I’ve missed out on the last few years.”
Collie has also met with Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, a former Utah assistant coach.
“Coach Ludwig has been there for four years and he has a lot of confidence in all of the pieces of his offense and making me a big part of that is something that excites me,” Collie said. “And being able to play in the SEC. It’s hard for your eyes not to get pretty dang big when you think about playing in the SEC."
Beyond football, Collie likes what both BYU and Vanderbilt offer from an educational standpoint.
Collie is set to graduate from Hawaii this spring with a degree in communications with an emphasis in marketing and public relations. He’s considering the graduate program in communications at BYU as well as getting involved with the school’s renowned Marriott School of Business.
“An opportunity to get a master’s (degree) from BYU is a big honor and a big accomplishment,” Collie said.
Collie also likes Vanderbilt's prestigious Owen Graduate School of Management while a degree in human development and psychology is also an option, he said.
“The biggest positive of Vanderbilt would definitely be the education,” he added.
What counsel has his brothers given him in relation to his decision?
“The greatest advice that they have given me is to look to where most of the opportunities are going to be and look to the bigger picture and what’s going to get you to the next level,” Collie said. “Look at what’s going to open up a network for what you want to do after football. And most importantly, pray about it. That’s something my wife and I will take very seriously."
After finishing his collegiate career, Collie has his sights set on playing in the National Football League.
“I want to do that as long as I can," he said. “After that, I want to be a coach. It’s something that’s been on my mind a long time. I’ve felt like I’d be good at.”
In the meantime, Collie and his wife have a huge decision to make.
"I want to be able to make a decision that’s truly the best decision in the long run. I don’t take it lightly. There’s a lot of thought that’s going into it," he said. “I’d like to decide pretty quick. The uneasiness of not knowing where we’re going isn’t our favorite thing but we understand it’s going to take time and patience to thoroughly make a decision that’s going to be good for us in the future. We’ll probably make a decision by March. I’m hoping something happens sooner than later.”