The name Reggie Collier may not be that well known to today’s younger football fans, but back in the early 1980’s, for a brief period he was the man. Collier played for Southern Miss and would become a household name among college football fans.
He sat on the bench behind Dane McDaniel during his freshman year, getting very little action, but learning the game. In 1980, with the help of running back Sammy Winder, Collier would become the starter at quarterback and help lead the team to a 9-3 record. 1981 would be an amazing year for Collier as he would become the first NCAA Division I player to pass and rush for more than a thousand yards in a season. He finished the season 81 of 139 for 1,004 yards passing and he also ran the ball 153 times for 1,005 yards. His rushing production would drop by a couple of hundred in his senior season, but he would end up throwing for 1,265 yards.
Collier moved to the United States Football League in 1983 where he would spend the season as the backup to quarterback Bob Lane as a member of the Birmingham Stallions. 1984 would see him become a member of the Washington Federals where he would again be a backup, this time to Mike Hohensee. In his third season in the pros, with his third team, 1985 would see Collier be named the starter for the Orlando Renegades.
After the USFL, Collier spent a couple of seasons trying out in the NFL and eventually earning a place on the roster of both the Dallas Cowboys, whom he would get the only start of his NFL career for, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Reggie Collier would finish his pro football career following the 1987 season having thrown three career touchdown passes in the NFL. They were caught by Robert Lavette with the Cowboys and Lyneal Alston and Joey Clinkscales with the Steelers. After retiring, Collier would eventually return to work in the athletic department of his alma mater, Southern Miss.