Just getting this opportunity is a breakthrough for Collie, whose 2012 season ended in September when he injured his knee. Indianapolis later released him, and his history of concussions undoubtedly played a role in other teams' reluctance to sign him.
"I think a team's crazy if they don't bring Austin in," his father, Scott, said this summer.
Austin Collie is a proven NFL receiver, and he's determined to extend his career. Now that former BYU teammate Dennis Pitta is likely sidelined for the season after being injured in Baltimore's camp, Collie would give Cougar fans another player to watch on Sundays. The 49ers traded for veteran receiver Anquan Boldin, but Michael Crabtree will miss the start of the season.
That may be the opening Collie needs. He always makes the most of his opportunities, that's for sure. He helped the Colts reach the Super Bowl as a rookie and even thrived in 2011 when Peyton Manning was injured and Indianapolis used a succession of quarterbacks.
Collie missed the chance to play with Andrew Luck last season, but now the 49ers will enable him to catch passes from Colin Kaepernick.
It all works out, the northern California native could find himself back in the Super Bowl with San Francisco. That's getting ahead of the story, though. Collie's comeback begins Thursday at Candlestick Park, and every preseason game is vital to him in his quest to make the team.