Michigan football will be back on Oct. 23 or Oct. 24 but it looks like the Wolverines won’t have Nico Collins and maybe not Dylan McCaffrey either.
Yet, there are still tons of questions to be answered going forward and if there is a season, one of the biggest questions is who will be playing for the Wolverines?
We already know that Jalen Mayfield and Ambry Thomas have declared for the NFL draft and won’t be returning. Now, it looks like Nico Collins will be joining them.
This is coming from Michael Spath of the Wolverine Digest. He’s pretty plugged in with U-M and here’s what he said he’s hearing about Collins:
“Now, we’ve learned the Wolverines will also be without wide receiver Nico Collins, who is also choosing the NFL path instead of playing an abbreviated eight- or nine-game conference-only schedule.”
Following the announcement, Joe Milton, who is expected to be the Wolverines starting quarterback this season, tweeted at some receivers and Nico was notably absent.
Take that with a grain of salt obviously. Milton also didn’t tweet at Roman Wilson, A.J. Henning and Cornelius Johnson and I’d expect those guys to have big roles this season too.
At the same time, it wouldn’t be surprising if Collins opted for the NFL draft. I fully expected him to do so if the season had been played in the winter or the spring.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping he would play during the fall and since he’s yet to deliver that marquee season, it seems like he would be missing on a chance to improve his draft stock.
There hasn’t been anything from Nico or the school, but there seems to be some smoke accompanying the fire with this one.
Spath had another interesting tidbit and this one was about quarterback Dylan McCaffrey.
“In fact, if the season started this weekend, we’d expect Milton first and redshirt freshman Cade McNamara the backup. What does that mean for redshirt junior Dylan McCaffrey? Our sources indicate he is exploring his options after losing the head-to-head with Milton to be the starter.”
Cade McNamara, a redshirt freshman, has played well in camp and some have even said he’s been close to McCaffrey. By all accounts, Milton has been the top QB and will be the starter, but if McNamara is the backup, then McCaffrey must be on his way out.
After being a vocal proponent of playing, if he did opt out, it would likely to be in order to save a year of eligibility, giving him a chance to play two years somewhere else.
As of now, it doesn’t look like the Pac-12 is going to play this fall. If that were the case, it’s possible McCaffrey could transfer to say, Colorado, where he’s from.
He could have two years to be the starter there or compete for the job, although there would surely be a number of schools interested. That’s all speculation too just to be clear.
Surely, there will be plenty of news about players taking part in the season or not in the coming days so stay tuned. But the loss of Collins would hurt, while the loss of McCaffrey would tell us that Milton is indeed the starter.