Player Spotlight: Kain Colter
Heading to Happy Valley at 5-0, Northwestern owes a great deal of their success thus far to quarterback Kain Colter.
Arguably one of the most versatile offensive players in college football, Colter plays at quarterback, his primary position, and wide receiver. Colter also runs with the ball quite frequently and is one of the most successful rushers on the team.
But Colter did not start out wearing all these offense hats. He began his time with the Wildcats in 2010 and was one of only five true freshmen to see playing time. He played in three games and was listed as the back-up quarterback.
Colter began to show hints of his versatility in the 2010 Ticket City Bowl against Texas Tech. He was 3-of-6 passing and threw for 38 yards. He also had a 32 yard reception. Most impressively, however, Colter carried the ball 18 times and rushed for a total of 105 yards, only the seventh 100-yard rushing performance by a Northwestern quarterback.
In 2011, Colter had an even greater offensive impact. He led the team in rushing with 654 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He was ranked fifteenth amongst the Big Ten’s rushing leaders.
At quarterback, Colter completed 55-of-82 attempted passes and for a total of 673 yards and six touchdowns. He threw just one interception.
Colter also began to be utilized as a wide receiver during the 2011 season. He finished the season with 43 receptions for 466 yards and three touchdowns, his first receiving touchdown coming against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Colter’s impressive offensive performance led him to be ranked 16th among Big Ten players in total offense. He also earned honorable mention as an All-Big Ten performer and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Colter, a junior, entered the current season as the Wildcats’ leading returning rusher, passer and receiver. This will also be his first full season as Northwestern’s starting quarterback.
Last week against Indiana, Colter finished with 292 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. All four were rushing touchdowns and Colter rushed for a career-best 164 yards on 14 carries. He also had nine receptions for 131 yards. His contributions helped the Wildcats to 704 yards of total offense, a new school record.
Colter’s impressive offensive performance against Indiana earned him Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. He shares the title with Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez.
Colter is Northwestern’s first Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week this season, but he will not be slowing down anytime soon.
Going into this weekend against Penn State undefeated, the Wildcats coaching staff will surely be utilizing Colter in as many ways as they possibly can. He has proven that he is a great offensive threat and is able to transition between positions seamlessly.
Colter has proven that he has what it takes to lead the Wildcats to victory. He is not only able to make the throws he needs to at quarterback, but he is also an explosive, athletic runner and has no problem tucking the football and running. Likewise, he can make tough catches at receiver and is able to evade defenders, no matter which position he is at.
Colter will be looking to lead Northwestern to another victory this weekend when the undefeated Wildcats travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State.
Breanna Jacobs is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.