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Kingston Trae Colquitt has always wanted to play college football and now the Yellow Jacket senior will be getting his chance as he signed scholarship papers last week with Carson-Newman College.
“I’m ecstatic,” Colquitt said after signing with Ken Sparks’ powerhouse program in Jefferson City. “Words really can’t describe how I’m feeling. I know I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity.
“I really like the campus and the atmosphere at Carson-Newman. It’s a Christian college and the people there are amazing; they made me feel at home. The facilities there are also great, especially the athletic facilities.”
Kingston head coach Blair Harrison is also thrilled for Colquitt. Partly because he knows how hard he has worked, and also for helping make his first year at Kingston a success.
“I’m really excited for Trae,” Harrison said. “I know this is what he’s wanted his whole life. He was a rock for us this year. If he didn’t buy into what we were doing it would have been a lot harder to win the team over.
“I know anytime you have a coaching change that sometimes players can fall through the cracks, but I appreciate Carson-Newman hanging in there with him and with us. He’ll make them proud and he’ll make all of us proud.”
Colquitt’s ability on the field is undeniable, and Harrison believes a lot of that ability comes from hard work.
“He goes 100 percent all the time,” he said. “He’s a leader by example, not necessarily vocally. And I think he’s just now coming into his own. I know he’s dominated here for years, but we could see him getting better throughout the year and he’s going to do well at Carson-Newman.”
“I try to bring energy to the field,” Colquitt added. “I play both ways and I go full speed all the time. I try to make a play every play.”
Playing both ways is something Colquitt won’t have to worry about in college, but he doesn’t yet know which side of the ball he’ll be playing for the Eagles. He does, however, think his knowledge of the game will help him whether he’s on offense or defense.
“I’d rather play defense, but I’ll do whatever they need me to do,” he said. “On offense, I’m pretty good at pulling and blocking, but I’m really good at knowing who I’m supposed to block. That’s the main thing. On defense, I’m quick off the ball and good at recognizing pass plays and screens. I also watch their blocking schemes to know where the ball is going.”
“He’s so versatile that he can help them in a lot of ways,” Harrison added. “He can play down for them or at linebacker on defense. They run the veer on offense and he can play there because he knows a lot of what they’re doing. The main thing is that they know he can play.”
While Colquitt has a great understanding of the game and has all the tools to excel on the next level, he doesn’t have experience and he knows that the college game is going to take some time to get used to.
“I’m going to have to hit the weight room and get ready to get beat up,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep working and do my best to keep up with the older players. I’ll also have to get used to being on my own.”
“He’s going to have to continue to get stronger and he’ll have to maintain his speed,” Harrison added. “But he’ll also now get to concentrate on football only and that will help. He’s a hard worker though and he’s going to do well.”