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Ravenwood alum Colson thriving as anchor of No. 3 Michigan’s defense | People

It’s hard to believe linebacker Junior Colson is just a sophomore by the numbers he’s putting up in Michigan this season.

The former Ravenwood star leads the third-placed Wolverines (10-0) in tackles at 67.

“He’s like a tackling machine between the tackle boxes,” said Michigan Linebackers coach George Helow MLive.com. “Feels really good, has some good natural instincts. He’s a young player, the more experience he gets the better he plays every week.”

“Junior really has it all,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said In the Trenches Podcast. “He’s got a great work ethic, great attitude, all the physical ability, really smart – a guy you know can run the defense.”

Michigan boasts one of the best defenses in the country, ranking first in the NCAA in rushing defense (72.7 yards per game), total defense (232.8.2 ypg) and scoring (11.2 points per game), and fourth place in pass defense (160.1 ypg). ).

“I just think it’s because of everyone’s persistence,” Colson said. “We try very hard for the ball. Everyone wins their job and does what they have to do to dominate the line of scrimmage.”

Colson (6-foot-3, 235 pounds) made an early impression in Michigan, earning freshman All-American honors last year. He recorded 12 tackles in a win at Penn State. Colson has 16 starts with the Wolverines.

“Yeah, it suited me really well,” Colson said. “I fit into the scheme. They helped me transition into the college atmosphere very quickly.”

Two of his former Ravenwood teammates are now his Michigan teammates on defense — freshman cornerback Myles Pollard and sophomore linebacker Trevor Andrews.

Colson’s best memory so far in Michigan was his team’s 42-27 win over archrivals Ohio State last November, ending an eight-game losing streak in the series against the Buckeyes, who had won 15 of the previous 16.

The long-awaited win catapulted Michigan to its first Big 10 title since 2004.

“I was able to start 1-0 against them,” said Colson.

Michigan ranks third in the college football playoff rankings, behind Georgia and Ohio State and ahead of Texas Christian. They are one of the only undefeated teams in FBS.

Colson is optimistic about a playoff return.

“I just think we have to do what we’ve been doing to keep dominating and I think everything else will take care of itself,” he said.

Colson helped lead Ravenwood (13-2) to a second-place finish in the Class 6A behind 15-0 Maryville as a junior in 2019. He was a three-year starter for the Raptors, going 10-3 in his sophomore year and 7-5 his senior year.

Colson played running back and wide receiver as a freshman before switching to linebacker as a sophomore. His skills were ideal for linebackers.

“Junior was just a happy young man,” said former RHS head coach Matt Daniels, who coached him for four years before retiring in 2020. “He kind of had one of those smiles that tended to relieve tension. Junior just had that smile that helped him be a good leader and be drawn to people instantly.”

Colson’s magnetic smile made him very approachable to the Raptors. He was also known for his quiet self-confidence.

“Now he’s more vocal and you can see he’s getting opportunities to make defensive decisions and transition at the highest level in college football,” said Daniels, who believes Colson has the potential to move up to the NFL after Michigan .

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