Northwestern's senior class will be remembered for winning a program-record 36 games and bringing consistent success. The winningest group in NU history left a solid mark on the program. Colter, however, will remember the group for more than wins and losses.
"It's hard to put into words everything they've meant to us," Colter said of the seniors. "They've been my big brothers ever since I've gotten here. I've learned so much about the game that I didn't know before."
As the Wildcats enter the offseason, the junior-to-be wants to take the reins from the departing seniors.
"I'm going to go into this offseason and try to lead the rest of the guys like they did, "said Colter.
When Dan Persa was sidelined while recovering from his Achilles injury, Colter was forced to take leadership of Northwestern's offense. He had learned from the example set by Persa.
As a freshman in the NU football program, Colter observed Persa's guidance as a team captain. He hopes to carry on Persa's lead going forward.
"Coming in straight out of high school, Dan was the first guy I noticed," said Colter. "He was getting everybody ready, leading everybody, the hardest worker in the weight room. I'm just going to try to follow in his footsteps."
Northwestern loses 16 senior starters, meaning many freshmen and sophomores will be counted to take over. With a new, young cast of players stepping in, Colter hopes to guide his inexperienced teammates.
"I'll be he first guy there, last guy to leave," said Colter. "I'll get all the guys ready, especially the younger guys. I feel like we need everybody to buy into this program from top to bottom. Whether it's offense or defense. Once we do that, we will be a lot better."
The athletic Colter used his versatility in multiple roles with the Northwestern offense in 2011. He rushed for 654 yards and nine touchdowns, threw for 673 yards and six touchdowns, and caught 43 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns.
Northwestern now has an opening at quarterback and multiple vacancies at wide receiver. Colter has already decided he wants to be the Wildcats' field general.
"I don't want to be a wide receiver, not at all," said Colter. "I could do it, I just don't want to. I feel like I can throw the ball, work hard in this offseason, and prove it to everybody. I want to try to follow in the footsteps of (Mike) Kafka, Persa, and those guys."