Record Breaker

One of the catalysts for Washington (Ill.) High School's dominating defense, junior Colton Underwood set school records for his ability to get to the ball carrier. With one offer under his belt, Underwood is out to show college coaches that the best is yet to come.

MADISON - Having moved through Big Ten Country when he was young, it's hard to pinpoint where Colton Underwood's allegiance lies.

Born in Indiana and being a fan of the Florida Gators, Underwood moved to Illinois and became a fan of the Illini. Years later, Underwood, a talented defensive end from Washington Community High School, can't decide who his favorite is.

"I am just a football fan in general," Underwood told Badger Nation. "I like a lot of different teams."

On the same accord, a lot of schools are starting to take a shine at the 6-foot-4, 255 pound prospect.

An honorable mention all-state selected by the Champaign News Gazette and the Chicago Tribune, Underwood recorded 47 tackles (37 solo), eight tackles for loss, 18 sacks, four passes deflected, three block kicks, one interception and one forced fumble on defense.

"I had 18 solo sacks, a school single season record and have 24 sacks for my career, which is also a school career record," Underwood said. "I play powerful, yet quick to beat somebody or get around somebody off the defensive edge. Every play, I want to get the guy in front of me and if there's a double team, I want to take care of both guys to help my team."

Although a majority of schools have looked at him on the defensive side of the ball, Underwood also is a solid offensive player. Rushing for 810 yards on 145 carries and eight touchdowns last season, Underwood has also been getting tryouts at tight end and running back.

Illinois State, Underwood's only scholarship offer, has offered Underwood as an athlete, hoping to figure out his role if he gets onto campus.

‘Everywhere I go is different," Underwood said. "I've talked to a lot of d-line coaches during my camps. Southern Illinois would like me as an H-back. Northern Illinois, after going to its camp, looked at me at tight end."

In addition to camping at Ball State, Underwood has camped at Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, where he performed solidly during one-on-one drills under the watchful eye of defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. "Wisconsin went real well and the coaches told me that I did a pretty good job," said Underwood, who also attended UW's spring game. "I got a lot of good comments from my one-on-ones with the players. My recruiting coach, Coach McCray, told me that I was high on their list. If told me that they had to meet and discuss and if I didn't get an offer from them soon, that I could probably get one in the fall.

"I thought Illinois went really well and I did pretty good at Iowa, too," he added. "Iowa told me that they are going to watch me throughout the season as one of their top prospects. Illinois is the same as Wisconsin in terms of having to give them a call."

In addition to his skills on the field, Underwood is a penciled-in starter for his high school basketball team. Averaging over 10 points a game last season, Underwood took a break from the summer-camp schedule to head on a week-long basketball trip to Colorado with his school team, playing a sport that has helped him develop as a football player.

"Basketball has helped me so much on my footwork and overall quickness and speed," Underwood said. "Without basketball, I don't think I would be as great of a football player."

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