The San Francisco 49ers got themselves quite the special teams hammer when they took Adrian Colbert in the 2017 draft. Whether he’s flying around the field as a corner or laying the wood as a safety will be yet to be determined—right now he’s got a chance to be an ace on special teams. Colbert’s college background as safety and corner immediately makes him versatile as they zero on what position they want him to specialize in in the future.
He’s also got a great story too. Not just the fact his cousin Marquise Goodwin is on the team, but it seems like he has a bit of a darker past that he’s put behind him to focus on football.
Colbert met with the media this week to discuss his football background and a bit of his past. His humbling answers and gracious attitude seem to highlight a lot of the type of character you hope John Lynch and company continue to bring in.
I understand you tried at corner first are you comfortable with that?
I’m comfortable with anywhere they ask me to play. Corner, safety, special teams
Is there a preference?
No, I’ve never really had a preference.
What have you played in the past?
I’ve played special teams, safety, corner, nickel. I played on offense in high school, but you’re talking about college now.
Anything with this single high safety situation?
Yes sir, I played single high safety and at the corner position in a three-high defense.
The wait was longer than you wanted last Saturday, but to get the call from the 49ers, can you take us through that?
It was awesome, man. Just getting the opportunity to come and help out this club, after going through what I’ve been through throughout my whole collegiate career, it was just a blessing to get that call from John [49ers general manager John Lynch].
What did John Lynch have to say?
He was excited about me coming in. Talked about Marquise [49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin], my cousin, and just made that family relationship even better.
You said going through what you went through in your college career, can you shed some light on what that was like for you?
It was tough, but everything that you go through is something that’s going to make you stronger especially if you get through it like I did.
Were there points where you considered walking away?
I actually did, yes sir.
What made you come back?
My faith. My faith is everything. When you’ve been through the things I”ve been through—I was hit by a car when I was nine, you kind of reflect back on those things. I got through that, so I can get through anything.
You got hit by a car?
Whoa. What do you remember about that?
Not much. There’s a lot online about it.
Did you know A.J. Highsmith [49ers scout] at all? Was he a teammate of yours? He’s a scout here now, played at Miami.
No sir, I do not. I came right after he left.
What about Lorenzo Jerome, another Florida guy. Do you know him at all?
I don’t. I got to Miami last may, so I didn’t get to meet a lot of the older guys.
Why make the move to Miami?
Manny Dias and Ephraim Banda. I had a really great relationship with Ephraim Banda, who’s now the assistant safeties coach at Miami. That relationship carried on from when he went to Mississippi State, and then now Miami. He reached out to me and expressed his interest to come play corner there and it was a no-brainer.
What do you think your strengths are as a defensive back? Where do you thrive?
I’m a smart player, I’m a really physical player and I’m very fast.
Have you trained with Marquise in the past or got a guestimate on the field as to his skill against you as far as covering.
We haven’t gotten on the field yet, but that’s coming soon.
He says he’s the fastest player in the NFL.
Is he faster than you?
That’s a big admission
It’s hard, but he is faster than me.