Kerry Michael Collins (born December 30, 1972) is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers with the fifth overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft, the first choice in the franchise's history. He also played for the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, and Tennessee Titans in his 16-year career. He played college football at Penn State.
Collins played at Wilson High School in West Lawn, Pennsylvania. He played college football at Penn State, where he earned many awards in football. As quarterback, he was named All-American in 1994 by the Associated Press, United Press International, The Football News, Football Writers Association of America, Walter Camp and The Sporting News. Collins also captured two of college football’s major postseason prizes — the Maxwell Award, presented to the nation’s outstanding player, and the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the nation’s top quarterback. Collins finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. In addition, he was chosen UPI Back-of-the-Year and garnered Player-of-the-Year honors from ABC-TV/Chevrolet and the Big Ten Conference. Collins made a serious run at the NCAA season passing efficiency record, falling just four points short (172.8), the fourth-highest figure in NCAA annals. He broke Penn State season records for total offense (2,660), completions (176), passing yardage (2,679), completion percentage (66.7), yards per attempt (10.15) and passing efficiency (172.86). He had 14 consecutive completions at Minnesota, another Penn State record. Collins was the linchpin of an explosive offense that shattered 14 school records and led the nation in scoring (47.8 ppg.) and total offense (520.2 ypg.). With 5,304 career passing yards, Collins ranks third in Penn State annals and is one of only three quarterbacks to top 5,000 yards through the air. With Collins at quarterback, the 1994 Nittany Lions completed an undefeated season, the fifth under coach Joe Paterno, capped by a Rose Bowl win over Pac-10 Champion Oregon. His team was voted #1 by the New York Times, although they were voted #2 behind undefeated Nebraska in the traditional polls (AP Poll and Coaches' Poll) used to determine Division 1-A champions prior to the BCS era.
Collins was selected as the Carolina Panthers' first round pick (fifth overall) in the 1995 NFL Draft. He was the first player ever chosen by the Panthers in the annual college draft, though other players—some free agents, as well as players from the expansion draft—had previously signed with the team. In his three seasons with the Panthers, he threw for 7,295 yards, 39 touchdowns and 49 interceptions. His completion percentage was 52.6% and his quarterback rating was 65.6. In his second season, he led the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game.