"I joke around with him all the time," said Averin Collier, a running back slash jack-of-all-trades out of Churchville-Chili in New York. "He always says he is still better than me, and that he is the one responsible for all my mail."
While Kevin Collier was getting accustomed to the college game as Pitt's third-leading rusher, Averin took over his brother's post as the starting tailback, making the move from receiver. He rushed for 1,582 yards and 22 touchdowns. He accumulated 2,200 all-purpose yards and 26 scores, lining up as a running back, quarterback and receiver. He also saw reps at linebacker and defensive back.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Collier says he already has scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Connecticut, Louisville, Virginia, Buffalo and Temple. Notre Dame is sending plenty of mail.
"Most schools are giving me the option," Collier said about what position he is being recruited at. "The position where I can make the most impact for a team, is where I'll feel the most comfortable playing.
"Some schools are recruiting me as running back, receiver, linebacker or defensive back. Just put me wherever, I don't have a definite answer at position. Wherever a coach thinks I can be a playmaker."
Sounds like Collier could be a playmaker anywhere.
Collier gets his mail from his coach once a week, and sees four or five letters from Notre Dame.
"I have a high interest in Notre Dame," Collier said. "Their prestige, Charlie Weis, and the history and the tradition, there is definitely a chance of me playing there.
"I don't know much about them. I know it's a prestigious school academically as well as their history of football. My mom always talks about Notre Dame because she works with Catholic nuns."
Collier has been on unofficial visits to Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Syracuse and Virginia. He said he tried to make it to South Bend this past season.
"I wanted to come for a game this season, but they were sold out, they didn't have any tickets available. I'm definitely going to make a game this upcoming year."
Collier's 17 points per game make him the leading scorer on the school's basketball team. He also plans to run track this spring, to improve his speed. He hasn't attended any camps or combines, but reports a 4.56 40-yard dash time. He says he can bench press 270 pounds and squat 425. He added that his GPA is 3.0 and he'll probably take the SAT in May.
May is also about the time Collier plans to make a short list of favorite colleges.
"Once the springs comes around and schools start sending all their offers, I'll be able to make a list of who is in my top-10 and top-five."
In between wise cracks, his brother isn't doing any extra recruiting for Pittsburgh.
"He's helping me through the process," Collier said. "He's not forcing me either way. He is guiding me on if I'm making the right decision. We talk about every day, we're really close."
Pittsburgh returns to Notre Dame's schedule in 2008. That could become a possible family get together in South Bend.