Chosen third overall in the 1983 USFL Draft by the Birmingham Stallions, Southern Mississippi quarterback Reggie Collier was seen by Marvin Warner, Jerry Sklar and Rollie Dotsch as a potential cornerstone player for the franchise, but a knee injury sidelined the rookie after just eight weeks in the pros, and in terms of playing football it was downhill from there.

Traded to the Washington Federals in January 1984, Collier played only 9 games in a Feds uniform, throwing for 969 yards in a part-time role.  In 1985 he was with the Orlando Renegades, where he finally played a complete season, going 229 of 427 for 2,578 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Collier also ran for 606 yards (including 171 in a single game), but his performance couldn't prevent the Renegades from a 5-13-0, last-place finish however.

The high that Collier got from throwing touchdowns would be supplanted by one brought on by substance abuse, however, and Collier's fall in pro football circles was a quick and steep one.  When the USFL folded Collier, just 24, was a man without a team in 1985.  In 1986 he caught on with the Dallas Cowboys but played only four games.  The following year he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, only two appear in two games there.  While he would later play Arena Football in the early 1990's, his heyday was long behind him. 

Collier's substance abuse reportedly continued well beyond his playing days, but in 2001 he set his demons aside and began life anew.  Today in his late 40's, Collier serves as the Coordinator of Development and Community Relations for Southern Miss, and often speaks out about his addiction and recovery.  In June 2006, Collier was appointed by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to the state commission on physical fitness and sports.

REGGIE COLLIER

Washington Federals,
Orlando Renegades

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