Roughly nine months ago Seth Collins was in a hospital bed fighting for his life.

Collins, an Oregon State wide receiver, had just played at UCLA but fell ill by the time he was back in Corvallis the next day.

Though the illness was not officially revealed, the Benton County Health Department reported at the same time that an OSU undergraduate student was being treated at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for suspected meningococcal disease.

Football had suddenly become unimportant.

“I was on my deathbed, so I wasn’t thinking about coaches and football,” said Collins, who was a star quarterback and all-around player at Granite Hills High. “I was kind of struggling for my life. There were some players and a few coaches came to support me.

“At the end of the day, I’m here.”

Collins is also back and practicing with the Beavers.

He called it a blessing and gave credit to God for a recovery that allowed him to return to football.

There was a lengthy recovery and Collins was unable to participate in spring practice.

“I feel great. I’m ready to play and just compete. I’ve got something to prove like everybody else,” Collins said.

“I feel like I’m ready to play, so I’m out here and I’m giving everything I’ve got. It’s just a blessing to be out here, have my health and be able to come out here and compete with everybody.”

OSU coach Gary Andersen said it’s great to see Collins in gear and working with his teammates.

“For the life of a young man that is a very special kid in my eyes and what he went through to see him out here, it does a lot of good to me to see that happen for him and he’s excited and our team’s excited to have him back here,” Andersen said.

Andersen said Collins has been putting in the work to get back to playing shape after getting the go-ahead.

“He started that process that day and he’s handled that in the weight room, he’s handled that in summer conditioning,” Andersen said.

Collins should be an important cog among the receivers.

He was second on the team in receiving last season with 36 catches for 418 yards and a touchdown in 10 games. He had nine catches for 106 yards against Boise State and caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Marcus McMaryion against Washington State.

Those numbers came in Collins’ first full season at receiver after moving to the position late in his freshman year after starting at quarterback for the first half of the season.

There’s always room for improvement as Collins enters his junior year.

“I think Jason Phillips is doing a great job of continually helping Seth become a polished wide receiver and Seth is doing a tremendous job of taking the coaching and applying it on the field,” Andersen said.

Collins said the setback serves as a motivating factor as he’s returned to practice.

Now he’s waiting for the season to start.

“I’m just looking forward to being on the field, really. Being healthy. You don’t realize how important your health is until you get struck with something,” Collins said. “But it’s humbling and it’s fortunate that I actually went through that. God makes us go through certain things to make us stronger, so I definitely feel like I’m coming out with a little edge or whatever. I’m just ready to play, to be honest.”