John was an outstanding, all around athlete. At Washington High School he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. Was the WPIAL Junior High – High Jump Champion and played on the Washington High School 1952 undefeated football team that was inducted into the Class of 1998, Washington-Greene Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He was selected to the Washington County All-Star football team in 1953.
At North Carolina State he was named ACC Player of the Week twice. Selected to the All-ACC Football Team in 1955-’56 & `57. Collar established six North Carolina State football records: Passes caught per game, Passes caught per season, & Passes caught per career. Touchdown passes caught per game, Touchdowns caught per season & Touchdown passes caught per career. Played in the Blue Gray Bowl Game, named to the All-Southeast Football Team and AP-UP Honorable Mention All-American.