Resolve carries Mineral Wells' Adrian Colbert back from accident
Adrian Colbert refused to let a life-threatening accident stand in the way of his dream
01/23/2012 11:13 PM
02/20/2012 8:23 AM
Adrian Colbert has no business being in the spot he's in now, having accepted a scholarship to play football for the Texas Longhorns.
And he knows it.
When he was 9, Colbert was involved in an accident that could have ended his athletic career -- or his life.
Just hours after leading his football team to a berth in the Wichita Falls city championship game, Colbert and some friends were riding bicycles when he failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by a car.
Colbert was rushed by helicopter to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he was in a coma for more than a week.
"It was a shock that my baby had just got hit by a car and he's laying there in the field helpless," said his father, whose name is also Adrian Colbert.
"He went through the windshield and broke the steering column of the lady's vehicle.
"They thought initially his spleen was ruptured and they thought they were going to have to do surgery and take it out.
"His ankle was messed up and he broke his nose. They thought his collarbone was broken too."
Doctors told Colbert his chances of playing football again were slim.
"They told me I would never be able to run again," said the younger Colbert, who has scars on his chest and arms from the impact of the crash.
The sport he loved most might have actually saved his legs as he was still wearing his padded football pants from the game earlier in the day.
"I think about it every day. God has blessed me and my family so much throughout the years," Colbert said.
After two weeks in the hospital and months of rehabilitation, Colbert took advantage of his second chance.
"It was a hard recovery," he said. "At first, when I finally got out of bed, I couldn't walk for like a week. It hurt so bad to even think about walking."
Colbert missed his team's championship game that year, but he hasn't missed another game.
He and his father later moved to Mineral Wells, where Colbert has excelled in track and football.
But even after a stellar junior football season, he wasn't being recruited.
"The coaches told me I had the potential to be a good Division I player," he said. "But it didn't feel like it because I wasn't getting any looks by anybody, so I was kind of getting a little bit discouraged. But I kept my head up and knew I would get it on track."
After posting 89 tackles, two interceptions and returning a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns his junior season, Colbert caught the eye of college track coaches when he won the Class 3A 400-meter state championship.
But he knew his future was in football and put his focus into training.
"I worked every day. In the mornings, I would run from my house all the way to the weight room and then back," he said. "I'd do heavy weights and then two or three days I'd run with some of my college buddies."
Midway through his senior season, his dream was realized; and it happened quickly.
"In a matter of three weeks, I got an offer from Baylor, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M," he said.
Recruiters liked Colbert's size (6-foot-1 and 195 pounds). They liked his speed and playmaking ability at safety and returner just as much, as he racked up 90 tackles and four interceptions, and returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns last season. He also posted 1,100 total yards and 20 offensive touchdowns.
Colbert committed to Baylor in October but wanted to make sure he had made the right choice.
A visit to Austin in early December changed his mind.
"It's just the feeling I get when I'm in Austin. It feels like home," said Colbert, who also plans to run track at Texas.
Colbert's burst off the line and top-end speed, along with his ballhawking ability, caught the eye of Texas coaches, according to William Wilkerson, a recruiting analyst for ESPN's HornsNation.com.
"His speed and explosiveness are uncanny. I think he has a chance to make himself a career out of football," Wilkerson said
"He's the only true safety prospect Texas has committed to the 2012 recruiting class. That's saying a lot."
Colbert's father couldn't be prouder.
"He's a blessed young man," he said.
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