BYU offers scholarship to a familiar name

It's been a BYU affair for one LDS family living in California. During BYU's recent Junior Day, Coach Mendenhall pulled aside one member of that family into his office. After speaking with him for a few minutes, BYU's head coach extended a full-ride scholarship to a young man looking to make his own mark in a family rich in Cougar football history.

For years the Collie name had been synonymous with BYU, starting with father Scott Collie, who played for the Cougars from 1979-82. His son Zac followed decades later in 2000, and he in turn was followed by younger brother Austin in 2004. During BYU's recent Junior Day, another Collie brother, Dylan, was pulled into Coach Mendenhall's office and given an opportunity to continue the family tradition.

"I had the opportunity to see what was new over at BYU, and Coach Mendenhall pulled me aside into his office during one of the little segments," said Dylan Collie. "He offered me a full-ride scholarship to play for his program in about a year and a half.

"The first thing that went through my mind was this was a dream come true - something I've been around since I was six years old and had opportunities to watch. Zac wasn't the most heavily recruited player, and then to see Austin go through the process was great to see. When you get a scholarship like they did, you know you're wanted. To get a scholarship from a program like BYU that's on the up was extremely exciting."

While enjoying the experience of BYU's Junior Day, Collie got a sort of strange feeling that something was different about this specific visit.

"Before I spoke with Coach Mendenhall I kind of had the opportunity to speak with Coach Doman a little bit," Collie said. "I kind of saw a little glimmer in Coach Doman's eye, not that he isn't normally excited to see me. It was just that he was especially excited to see me this time, so I kind of had a little hint there that something was going down. Then as soon as Coach Mendenhall invited me to come into his office, I kind of felt things were moving to another level. Then I kind of felt some hints were being dropped, and then when he offered me the scholarship it was like, 'Oh finally!' It was finally something I have to look forward to and start this off."

Although excited, Collie didn't commit to Coach Mendenhall while sitting in his office.

"I'm going to definitely wait and see what happens," said Collie, whose offer from BYU is the first one he's received. "I'm not going to commit right away and have to see what my other options are. I am getting heavily looked at by other schools, but I have to take a lot of things into account. Not only the types of players and the types of coaches, but what kind of direction the program is heading into."

With Collie being LDS and having a lot of family history at BYU, one has to think that BYU is heavily favored to receive his services. While he does favor BYU, it's actually for a different reason.

"Right now they have to be my number one," said Collie about BYU. "The reason is they're the only one that has pulled the trigger. It's not for church reasons or spiritual reasons, but the number one thing I'm looking for in a school is are they going to let me take two years off to serve my mission. I know definitely BYU will encourage that, and the other schools that I've talked to heavily, I've made sure that it's a condition that they're okay with. Right now the number one school is BYU and that's because they've pulled the trigger and are making that offer known."

Right after he left Coach Mendenhall's office, an excited Collie then shared the news with his family, including Austin.

"I think [Austin] kind of new," said Collie. "I think he had been kind of waiting for it for a while, so he was nothing short of being ecstatic, but I think he kind of new it was coming. Austin is one of those guys that knows when talent is around and he obviously believed in me and knew that I deserved it. When I told him, it wasn't one of those things where he was jumping through the roof and almost like it was expected. He knew it was coming. After I got the offer I texted him and the rest of my family right away and let them know that I have the opportunity that they all have."

Though BYU is the only school to have offered Collie thus far, he is nevertheless receiving interest from other programs.

"I'm getting heavily looked at by the University of Utah," Collie said. "I'm being looked at by the University of Oregon, UCLA, and kind of got some bites from Ohio State. I'm expecting a call from Cornell, so right now it's BYU, Utah, UCLA, Ohio State and Cornell."

When it comes to receiving his first Division I scholarship offer, a confident and outspoken Dylan Collie never once took credit for the privilege. Instead, he laid the results of his scholarship success right at the feet of his family.

"You know what, I have to give a lot of credit to my family," said Collie. "They instilled in me a work ethic that I believe most people don't have. They've done some outstanding things in their lives, and there is nothing that I want to do than make them happy and the people around me happy. The amount of work that I've put in on a daily basis, whether going to the gym, studying film during the season or putting that extra time in getting my routes down, to the style that my brothers played at and my father coaches me, I've got something a lot of people don't have."

At 5 feet 10 inches and 170 pounds, Collie might not be the biggest receiver on the field, but what he does feel he has the most of on the field is moxie and precision.

"I'm not the fastest guy – I run a low 4.6 right now – and I'm definitely not the biggest guy, but I'm going to give you the most polished routes," said Collie. "I'm going to give you the most cleanest hands and the softest hands, and not only that, if I see a linebacker coming across the middle I'm going to give him a little shot."

"I had 43 catches for 547 yards and eight touchdowns. I played offensively and I played a little safety and did punt and kick returns. Punt and kick returns are two positions that a lot of people don't like because it's a position that leaves you kind of vulnerable. I've got to be honest with you, there isn't a better rush than having five or six guys coming at you full speed when you're catching a punt. I'm known as a more ballsy punt return and will take a punt at any time. It's fun and my more favorable position."

Priding himself on being a precise and razor-sharp route-runner, Collie's game is based on the experience and expertise of his father and older siblings. He understands that he's blessed with a situation and lot of unique tools not given to many.

"My workout plan is based around Austin," he said. "The days he has off during the summer and when he's here, I'm taking full advantage. Other than that, the 330 days I've been seeing my dad and my brother Zac, that's my plan. I take it like this: I have a dad that played in the CFL. I have another brother that had an opportunity to play in the NFL, and I have another brother who is well on his way in a sturdy career in the NFL. All of that knowledge is trickling down. It gets heavier and heavier, right? So I use every single source that Austin has, that Zac had and my dad had. That's why I'm such a good player is because I have three times the amount that Austin had. I've got my dad, Zac and Austin, and every single coach that has instilled their teachings into those three I also have. I haven't just been to camps taking what they have to say; I get coaches from everywhere just through my three guys."

Last summer, Collie had the chance to meet Ben Cahoon, BYU's eventual wide receiver coach. He had heard many stories from his family about the legendary routes and catches Cahoon once made as a Cougar, and got a chance to see it for himself.

"He was out working out, and all I heard about Coach Cahoon were wonderful things – that he just has these routes and combinations of speed and hands. This is coming from my entire family, so when I finally got the opportunity to work with him last summer it was great. I got a chance to see the little things that he instilled. I mean, he is one talented guy and there is a lot that he has to offer. I'm excited to see what goes on during the next year at BYU and with me and the team and maybe potentially playing for Coach Cahoon."

Collie will be a senior next year for El Dorado Hills High School. He has a year to decide on a school, but isn't sure when he will make his final decision.

"I want to experience this and take every second I have of my last season to take the opportunities that I've seen my brother [Austin] do during this recruiting process. I'm going to take as much time as I need, but I'm excited about what has already happened."

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