The status of wide receiver Nico Collins as someone that could potentially opt back in to the 2020 season for the Michigan Wolverines has been a lingering storyline in the leadup to the new campaign. However, head coach Jim Harbaugh threw a bucket of water onto any spark of a return before Saturday during his Monday press conference.
“Nico is not participating in football right now,” Harbaugh told the Michigan media on Monday. “I don’t have a crystal ball as if his mind will change but he’s currently not on the team.”
As a follow-up to this, Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports confirmed the rumors that Collins has signed with an agent already and has not been with the team in well over a month.
Nico Collins is not on the #Michigan roster. Am told that he signed with an agent when it didn't look like there would be a fall season, and that he never came back to the team and has been away training for the draft.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 19, 2020
With no Collins, the train rolls on with the room of young and inexperienced wideouts that now have a chance to fill the void. Harbaugh was complementary of the group heading into the season and the strides that they have made as a group.
“Receiver-wise, the receivers have been really good,” Harbaugh said. “A lot of them, a lot of good receivers. One of the really good things about our offensive growth is the receiver group. Their ability to get separation, gain separation, increase separation and make contested catches. A lot of guys. Ronnie Bell, Mike Sainristil, Roman Wilson, Giles Jackson, Cornelius Johnson is doing extremely well. Jake McCurry, AJ Henning, Nate Schoenle. Those are the receivers we’re going to the ballgame with and we feel good about all of them.”
Saturday’s game against Minnesota — which features a wideout that did opt-back in with Rashod Bateman — is set for 7:30 p.m. kickoff before a national audience on ABC. ESPN’s College GameDay will also be in attendance in Minneapolis.