Colquitt breaking with tradition, headed to Clemson

by - Senior Writer -
Greg Colquitt with teammate and 2012 Clemson commitment Jay Guillermo

If you have a last name of Colquitt and you live in the state of Tennessee, tradition says you’re supposed to go punt for the Tennessee Volunteers.

Unless you happen to fall in love with Clemson first.

Maryville (TN) punter Greg Colquitt decided late in January that he would accept a scholarship offer from Tennessee Tech, but before National Signing Day Clemson recruiter Dan Brooks called Colquitt and offered him as a preferred walk-on, an offer that Colquitt jumped at. Brooks, who watched Maryville play in Tennessee’s state championship game as he took in Clemson commit Jay Guillermo (OL) and quarterback target Patton Robinette, decided he liked Colquitt enough to bring him in with the offer that if he does well enough, a scholarship could be available once current starter Dawson Zimmerman graduates.

First, however, Colquitt had to convince his family he wasn’t staying in Tennessee. The Volunteers had offered Colquitt as a walk-on, as well, and the name Colquitt and punting at Tennessee are synonymous - Colquitt’s family includes his cousins Dustin Colquitt (Kansas City Chiefs) and Britton Colquitt (Denver Broncos), their father Craig Colquitt (two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers) and Craig’s brother Jimmy Colquitt (who punted for the Seattle Seahawks), who all punted for the Vols.

“I could feel that there would be pressure in going to Tennessee,” Colquitt said. “My cousins, my grandparents, Craig – they were all really encouraging me to go to Tennessee. My mom would say ‘Go where you want to go, but Tennessee is a good option.’ And I just knew that the expectations there would be unbelievable. I am still wearing some shade of orange, so they should be happy about that.”

Colquitt said the environment at Clemson actually made it an easy choice.

“I am very content in my choice,” he said. “It was the academics and the tradition around the football program. There was this excitement and a feeling I got as soon as I walked on campus, and I knew that this was where I wanted to be. I felt that excitement as soon as I got there. My first visit was the Orange and White Game last spring, and I thought it was amazing. It is what I wanted, and now that I’ve ended up at Clemson, I couldn’t be happier.”

Colquitt said he committed to Tennessee Tech the Tuesday before National Signing Day, and took a visit to the campus the following weekend. He followed that up with a visit to Clemson on Saturday – just as a student with his family – and was planning a trip to Appalachian St. on Monday.

Just before the family left for Boone, Colquitt called Tennessee Tech and de-committed, and the family left to visit the App. St. campus.

It was on the car ride home, with a thousand emotions and thoughts swirling around, that Colquitt got the news he wanted to hear.

“We were riding in the car, and we were talking about a lot of things,” he said. “And then Coach Brooks called with Clemson’s offer, and my mind was made up immediately. That is how everything worked out, and it made the ride home definitely more enjoyable. I can't wait for the first night game in Death Valley, and to listen to that crowd.”

Colquitt said he will be on campus in July, and he said he will try and learn as much as he can as Zimmerman’s understudy.

“The coaches expressed to me that they are excited about me stepping in and giving them an opportunity to have a guy on the team this season that they can put on scholarship next year,” he said. “They haven’t mentioned red-shirting me, but that would be great. I can learn from Dawson. And Craig – he is always a help, too. He calls me, and I write down everything he says. I have taken notes a lot of times, and cut them out and pasted in my locker. He has been a tremendous help.”

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