ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan football’s star wide receiver, Nico Collins, is “not currently on the team,” head coach Jim Harbaugh revealed Monday.
Collins, who passed up the 2020 NFL draft to Michigan for his senior season, hasn’t made an official announcement about the season, but it has long been assumed that he wouldn’t be with the team.
“Nico is not participating in football right now, and I don’t have a crystal ball as to if his mind would change or not, but he’s not currently on the team,” Harbaugh said.
Michigan lost cornerback Ambry Thomas to an opt out this year, but got good news when offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield decided to return for the shortened season.
Collins was removed from the team’s official roster Monday morning. He was expected to wear the prestigious No. 1 jersey this year.
In 2019, Collins 37 passes for 729 yards and seven touchdowns. He was the second-leading receiver behind Ronnie Bell, but became Shea Patterson’s favorite target late in the season.
In three seasons, Collins racked up 1,388 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on 78 catches.
Collins, at 6-foot-4, was an excellent compliment to Michigan’s growing crop of smaller, faster receivers.
Without Collins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black in the mix, Harbaugh named eight players who could make an impact in 2020: Bell, Mike Sainristil, Roman Wilson, Giles Jackson, Cornelius Johnson, Jake McCurry, AJ Henning and Nate Schoenle.
“A lot of good receivers,” Harbaugh said. “Their ability to get separation -- to gain separation, to increase separation and to catch -- to make contested catches.”
Bell is the only scholarship junior in the group, and he returns after leading the team in catches and receiving yards in 2019.
Sainristil, Jackson and Johnson all got their feet wet as true freshmen last year, while Wilson and Henning are highly ranked newcomers with elite speed.
McCurry and Schoenle are former walk-ons who have seen some playing time throughout their careers.