Today’s interviewee is Cedar Grove quarterback E.J. Colson, whose No. 1-ranked Class 3A team is playing at Class 7A defending champion Mill Creek on Friday. Colson is a three-year starter who committed to Central Florida in July ahead of his junior season.
1. Why was it important for you to commit earlier than most? Anything you found impressive after each visit? “I feel like I just needed to get my spot locked in. I felt like it was home. I took probably five visits prior to committing, and every time, I was made a priority to them. So I felt as if I needed to do the same with them. I had a conversation with the head coach and offensive coordinator down there and we made it official. It was a different thing each time. One time they would show me the biology program, because I want to major in biology and become an orthopedic surgeon. They’re top 15 in the country in biology. Their offense runs almost the same offense that we run. Coach Hinshaw [Darin Hinshaw, Central Florida’s offensive coordinator] loves to keep everything up-tempo and fast, and it was amazing to be around him and pick his brain. Coach Malzahn [head coach Gus Malzahn] is one of the top coaches ever. Beating Nick Saban three times [while Malzahn has head coach at Auburn] is something you can brag about, so with the history there and everything I just loved it.”
2. Why do you want to be an orthopedic surgeon? “My older brother was a running back in high school, and he always dealt with injuries. It was hard seeing him go through it. He would get discouraged. He had a torn labrum. Then he came back and tore his rotator cuff. Just seeing him down like that, I just knew that it could be a pathway for me to always keep athletes up and be able to meet new athletes each and every day to tell them to keep pushing and keep going.”
3. What are some things you’re doing now athletically and academically to prepare for your next phase of life in college? “I would say the biggest thing is studying and staying on top of my work. I’m a 4.0 student. My parents always tell me when I get home from practice to put my phone down and spend at least 30 minutes just studying. Even if I got the subject, still just go over problems, work it out. I try to write a journal entry every day. I have my own journal, and I try to write a paragraph or something about how my day went or write something so I’m keeping my mind going.” As a follow-up, Colson was asked his best way of studying. He said, “I love studying. I have my LED lights in my room, so I turn all my lights off and turn my LED lights on blue. I have my speaker in there. Usually I’d play rap and sometimes R&B, but some days I’m in an inspirational mood so I’d play something to always focus.”
4. Who is one professional or collegiate player you look up to and why? “I would say for a rookie it would be Bryce Young. I love his composure. If you watch him in the game, he just threw two picks and he never got rattled. He always kept his composure. And he never lets the moment get too big and is always staying Bryce Young. For an older guy, I would say Russell Wilson or Cam Newton. I just love how they always are leaders on and off the field. You never see them getting into any trouble. They make plays. All three of them are Black quarterbacks that can get out of the pocket and make plays. So, I would say those three.” As another follow-up, Colson was asked if those players’ leadership styles are reflected in his on and off the field. He said, “I try to make sure I’m doing the right thing at all times. I know that I’m a huge influence to the younger guys and everyone on the team. And I know that if they see me doing the wrong things they’re going to follow. So I always try to do the right thing no matter what, always being early to practice, being on time for school, keeping my grades up, just doing the right thing so they know that this is what you need to do to get to the next level.”
- Interview by GHSF Daily intern Micahya Costen
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