The BYU football legacy that almost wasn't

Imagine the BYU football program without the name Collie. Were it not for an injury to a wide receiver on a northern California high school football team back in 1978, that would probably have been the case. That injury triggered a chain of events that have dramatically impacted the BYU football program over the past three decades.

In the fall of 1978, Scott Collie was a linebacker and safety on the Bellarmine High School football team in San Jose, California. As the season progressed, Collie was being recruited by nearby Santa Clara University to play football as well as baseball. Collie also began hearing from other schools about playing football, including Dartmouth, Brown and BYU, a private religious university in Utah that he "had never even heard of."

Collie remembers being surprised by the recruiting attention and the scholarship offers, especially since he had less than a year of varsity football stats to his credit. Going into his senior season, Collie's plan was to go to pre-dental school at Oregon State with three of his friends and "football wasn't even in the cards."

"I was completely shocked," Collie said. "I didn't play varsity football as a junior. I wasn't the best football player on the team. I wasn't the guy who had all the touchdowns."

The offer from BYU was even more surprising because of the position the school was recruiting him to play.

"I played defense," Collie said. "I kicked and I punted and I was the back-up quarterback. I was one of the starters on defense. We were so good we didn't have anybody who played both ways."

"I didn't even start playing receiver until half-way through the season when one of our receivers got hurt," Collie explained.

Unbeknownst to Collie, BYU offensive coordinator Doug Scovil was at a game and saw him catch the ball.

"About three-fourths of the way through the season I started getting letters. That was kind of interesting. I get called down to the coach's office in the middle of class. I have no idea what it's for, so I go down there and there was this older-looking gentleman sitting down in a chair.

"Our quarterback, Mike Jones, was there and he was already sitting down. So this Doug Scovil (I didn't know who it was, I had never even heard of Brigham Young University) started telling me and Mike about this program and how they throw the ball all the time. Gifford Nielsen and Marc Wilson, Gary Sheide, and that's all they do is throw the ball…and that he wanted us to come up and look at the school.

"I then very politely explained to Doug Scovil that there would be no way that my parents would pay for me to come up and look at a school. And he said no, you don't get it, we're gonna fly you up to come look at the school. I almost peed my pants. I had no idea that anybody would do that."

The fact that BYU was offering him a chance to play receiver was a major factor in Collie's interest.

"The other schools saw me play defensive back and linebacker, but I didn't like that," said Collie. "Doug Scovil said, I want you to play receiver.

"And it all fell into place from there," Collie said. "I went ahead and took other recruiting trips. I had this vision that I was going to be a forest ranger. I had already left my pre-dental and thought I want to be a forest ranger, and now being in the mountains of Provo was gonna be perfect."

Along with Bellarmine teammate Jones, Scott Collie signed with BYU in early 1979. He made the move to Provo and went on to have a very productive career as a Cougar wide receiver. While at BYU Collie also met his future wife, Nicole Norman, and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Collie received an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game but ended up missing that opportunity when an injury brought his senior season and BYU career to an early end. In spite of a shortened senior season, Collie made a strong impression with his play and was drafted by the Denver Gold as the 64th overall pick in the 1982 USFL draft.

Collie instead signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers. After being one of the last rookies cut in 49ers camp, Collie signed with the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League where he played four seasons.

Scott and Nicole Collie have raised a family of five children, and those children are leaving an athletic legacy of their own. Zac and Austin, the two oldest, followed their father in playing wide receiver at BYU. The Collies' fourth child, Dylan, signed a letter of intent on February 1, 2012 to continue that same tradition.

When Scovil began recruiting Scott Collie to play wide receiver instead of defense, little did he know that the BYU program would ultimately get four standout wide receivers out of that deal.

The Collie athletic legacy doesn't end there. Daughter Taylore, the Collies' third child, received a golf scholarship to play for Utah Valley University. Rumor has it that Cameryn, the youngest, may be the best athlete of the bunch. Time will tell.

After finishing his football career in the CFL, Scott Collie began a successful career as an executive in the hospitality industry, providing integrated hardware and software solutions. The career allowed Collie to provide security for his growing family, but football remained his passion and he dreamed of one day coaching football.

Collie was very involved in coaching his sons when they were young, teaching them basic fundamentals of playing the receiver position from an early age. As the boys reached high school age, he wasn't directly involved in coaching their teams and decided to share his knowledge with players from his local community of Eldorado Hills, California.

"About six years ago, I said I'll take the first 12 kids who want to participate and I'll take them through what I call wide receiver disciplines," said Collie.

"There were things that you could see just weren't being coached, and not because coaches didn't know how, but really because of time. And you really see it now. So for six years I did that, just doing it once a summer. The past two years it evolved into more private requests."

As his wide receiver disciplines training gained notoriety, Collie began receiving frequent requests for private coaching sessions. One parent who sent his young athlete to Collie for private instruction last summer came away so impressed that he wanted to see it available to a much broader audience.

"This gentleman contacted one of my buddies and said I don't think Scott realizes what he has here. There are parents all over that would love to be able to have this knowledge transferred.

"So I had some sleepless nights, thinking that I could finally follow my passion and my dream of coaching, and hopefully make an impact on kids."

On October 3, 2011, Scott Collie left his professional career to focus full-time on developing the brand of ReceiverTech and pursuing his coaching dream.

The Receivertech.com website was officially launched Super Bowl week. ReceiverTech offers a variety of football camps and private coaching sessions and Scott, Zac and Austin Collie are all involved.

This June, ReceiverTech will also hold three invitation-only RT25 camps where top high school receiver prospects from around the country will compete for top honors. The top 25 performers, "the RT25," will be receivers for the Elite 11 Quarterback competition in California in July. TotalBlueSports.com will be providing full coverage of RT25 camps.

ReceiverTech is new but it has already received some notable endorsements. Former BYU quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young recently called Scott Collie "one of the best teachers not on a college or NFL payroll." Collie and ReceiverTech have received similar praise from the likes of Mike Holmgren, Andy Reid and Jim McMahon.

Watch for more information about the RT25 camps and more insights from Scott Collie in the coming months on TotalBlueSports.com.

Scott, Austin, Dylan and Zac Collie (L to R)


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