Former Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins may have opted out of the 2020 season, but his allegiance to the football team and head coach Jim Harbaugh remains strong.
A lot was made about Harbaugh’s contract situation in December, as it took weeks for an extension to be signed. During that timeframe, though, Harbaugh was able to discuss his vision for the program moving forward with athletic director Warde Manuel. After Harbaugh’s extension was signed, his vision became clear, he added a plethora of new assistant coaches who are young and eager to hit the recruiting trail. In light of the new hires, there seems to be more optimism for the program in terms of the on-field product as well as how they’ll fare on the recruiting trail.
Beyond the speculation surrounding Harbaugh’s contract situation, what remains a focal point of negativity within the Michigan fanbase is the fact Michigan hasn’t beaten Ohio State at a respectable clip in the 21st century. Harbaugh has yet to beat Ohio State, although the 2016 overtime defeat and “The Spot” that led to OSU win will always be debated. Despite some roadblocks and bumps in the road, Harbaugh’s record at Michigan stands at 49-22, and Collins believes Harbaugh is the right person for the job in Ann Arbor.
“If you think he’s not the right coach, you’re wrong. He’s a great coach. He’s a coach that played in the NFL, coached in the NFL, and knows exactly how to coach his players,” Collins said. “If you want a great team to go to and a great coach to be coached by, go to the University of Michigan. It doesn’t get any better because of Coach Harbaugh. I learned a lot from him and I’m glad he was my coach for my first three years.”
Michigan had one of their worst seasons in years in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite Michigan’s struggles, Collins believes better days are ahead for the program in 2021. “I would say it was just one of those years. I would say it was just a bad season. I know for sure they’re going to respond and feed off this past season going into next season,” Collins said. “I already know the mindset after that season ended going into the winter cycle. I know the energy they’re going to bring next season is going to be ridiculous.”
Collins’ comments come after he was a standout during the week of practices at the Senior Bowl, where he was able to showcase his catch radius, physicality, and size. It’s just about unanimous that Collins boosted his draft stock at the Senior Bowl and it would be a surprise if he wasn’t drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.