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Thursday, April 7, 2016

AUSTIN COLLIE SURPRISINGLY RETIRES

SURREY, B.C. - Austin Collie has informed the B.C. Lions he plans to retire.

The 30-year-old receiver spent his only CFL season with the club in 2015, hauling in 43 receptions for 439 yards and seven touchdowns.

Collie was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, where he became a preferred target of star quarterback Peyton Manning.

In five NFL seasons, the Brigham Young University product registered 179 catches for 1,908 yards and 16 touchdowns in 49 games, but also suffered a number of injuries, including three concussions.

He had just seven catches in six games for the New England Patriots in 2013 and sat out all of 2014 before giving the CFL a try after teams south of the border stopped calling.

Collie - who grew up in California, but was born in Hamilton while his father played for the Tiger-Cats - was an intriguing prospect for the Canadian game.

He counted as a national player at a skill position, meaning that an American could be plugged into another area of need on the field of a ratio-driven league.

But the experiment never really worked, and B.C. struggled to a 7-11 record under one-and-done head coach Jeff Tedford.

Collie had 11 catches for 149 yards and a pair of TDs in his first two games, but he couldn't establish himself as a threat from there in an offence that sputtered most of the season.

In other news Wednesday, the Lions announced they have signed defensive lineman Bryant Turner Jr. to a one-year deal.

The 28-year-old from Mobile, Ala., spent the last five seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he recorded 89 tackles, 26 sacks and five forced fumbles over 71 games.

(Canadian Press)

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