Joe Davidson

Hometown Report: Colts' Collie regains health, has Luck on his side

Published: Saturday, Jun. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 3, 2012 - 11:10 am

Austin Collie reports that all is well in Indianapolis. The Colts wide receiver says he is of sound mind, body and soul.

The Bee's High School Player of the Decade for the 2000s out of Oak Ridge in El Dorado Hills, Collie said he would be game-ready if the season started Sunday. Better yet, the three-year veteran said, there are no lingering concussion concerns from his painful 2010 campaign. And Collie is eager to help break in new quarterback Andrew Luck as the franchise transitions from the Peyton Manning era.

"I'm doing great and feel good," Collie said last week by phone. "We lost a lot of friends here with changes, and Peyton was one of them. It's tough losing a guy you got to know so well, learned so much from. But I'm really excited about the future."

And that Luck fellow?

"I've gotten to chat with him briefly, and he's a bright kid," Collie said. "You can tell he's a special player. I'm just happy he's on our side."

Collie expects to work out with Luck as early as next week. Collie will return to Sacramento on June 19-21 to help coordinate and instruct at the Receiver Tech camp at Burbank High for kids age 7-17. More camps are scheduled on the West Coast in the coming months (www.receivertech.com for more information).

The camps are run by Collie and his family of wide receivers with BYU ties. Along with Austin, the Tech team features Collie brothers Zac, who played at BYU and with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007; Dylan, also of Oak Ridge headed to BYU this fall on scholarship; and father Scott, who played wide receiver at BYU from 1979 to 1982 and had pro stints in three leagues in the 1980s.

The Collies joke that they would be a step slow with any other instructional camp. Receiving is something they know. How to prepare, how to catch, how to sell routes – be it in a pro set, spread or any other formation.

And the camps' message goes beyond how to gain a first down.

"We think this is a natural because there isn't anything that parallels life more than football," Scott Collie said. "What we are teaching are skills and fundamentals, and also how to get along with teammates, how to get along with coaches. We started talking about doing some camps like this. Dylan was (the) brainchild. Austin said, 'This could be big. We can do a lot of good, and not just football.' "

Austin Collie said a wide receiver doesn't have to be exceptionally quick or fast to buckle a defense. He's an example, as is Dylan, a Bee All-Metro player last fall.

"We get too carried away with 40-yard dash times and what makes a good receiver," Collie said. "You don't have to be a burner to be a good receiver. Obviously, it helps (laughs)."

Added Scott Collie, "We're Collies, and we're slow, but nothing beats work ethic and desire."

Armstead in CFL

Armond Armstead from Pleasant Grove and USC has signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, and reports indicate the 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive lineman has impressed in two camp workouts.

Armstead originally fielded NFL offers as an undrafted rookie free agent but wanted to play immediately. The CFL season starts later this month. NFL camps open in late July.

Armstead's NFL stock dropped because of medical concerns. He didn't play his senior season at USC after being hospitalized with an unspecified condition. His brief hospitalization came before his senior season began.

Armstead told Canadian media: "I had an episode, and I was hospitalized. They ran a bunch of tests and found out I didn't have any heart condition or any blood condition. That's basically it.

"(NFL) teams were scared because of the history, and they didn't want to take a chance on me. I didn't want to wait until July (for an NFL camp tryout). I decided on the sure shot. All I wanted was an opportunity, and the Argos gave me one."

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