While former BYU and current Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams was talking to reporters during Media Day on June 22, a late-comer caught his eye.
“Did I mention I dislike Dylan Collie?” Williams said with a grin to the group. “Luckily he’s my brother, so it’s fine.”
The newcomer — who, of course, was Collie himself — then asked, “Are you just excited to be back in Provo today?”
Williams didn’t hesitate with his response.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Williams said. “My boy Dyl-Dal is back. I always get excited — I get little-kid excited when I see Dylan. I start jumping around, being hyper.”
Collie responded: “That’s the only reason I came back.”
While there is little doubt that the two former Cougar teammates enjoyed the reunion, Collie’s impact for the 2018 BYU football team is likely to go far beyond just getting to catch up with Williams during Media Day.
The graduate transfer started his career in Provo but spent the last three seasons in Hawaii playing for the Rainbow Warriors.
In 39 games, he tallied 118 receptions for 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2017, he finished with 56 catches for 636 yards and four touchdowns (including a six-catch, 103-yard performance in the 30-20 home loss to the Cougars.
By comparison, the top BYU receiving performance for last season came from freshman tight end Matt Bushman who had 49 receptions for 520 yards and three TDs.
The Cougar wide receiving unit believes Collie is already having an impact since he returned to the program.
“That’s my guy,” BYU junior wide receiver Micah Simon said. “I love Dylan. He’s a hard worker and he brings some experience to the room. He’s our oldest guy in the room as a 25-year-old.”
Simon said something that sets Collie apart is his understanding of football.
“He has a great IQ for the game,” Simon said. “I think part of that is that he comes from a football family. His dad played here, his brother Austin played here and in the NFL, he’s been taught a lot of great things. With a lot of things we talk about, plays and coverages, he knows it and he can teach it to everyone else. It’s been great.”
Simon also expects Collie to be a big presence on gameday for the Cougars.
“He had over 100 yards against us, so he can play,” Simon said. “He’s going to be a big contributor for us.”
BYU wide receiver coach Fesi Sitake likes the leadership he has seen from Collie in the offseason.
“I think he has what no one else has and that is a lot of game experience,” Sitake said. “He has so many games under his belt and so many receptions on the big stage. When we watched his film when we were deciding whether to bring him onto the team, what stuck out the most was that he was running by corners from UCLA, Arizona and some of these Power-5 schools. Obviously we have those types of teams this year on the scheduled. That experience is vital to have. He’s been nothing but great to have so far.”
Sitake also lauded Collie’s work ethic, which is something the Cougars have been stressing throughout spring and summer.
“Everyone has been willing to get their extra work,” Simon said. “One of our sayings with Coach Fesi (Sitake) is to do extra, even if it’s 20 minutes of you standing on the same spot catching balls. Or it’s watching film or going over new plays. It’s something we’ve done and I feel like it will show up throughout the season. We’ll be able to execute and the coaches will trust us with different plays.”
Sitake said the work ethic has been a big plus with his guys.
“They are really eager to work and learn and understand the position,” Sitake said. “I ask them to do something and they do it. I’ve been really pleased with their response to the challenges that I give them.”