North Texas Daily

Colin Voss explores football as basketball ends

Colin Voss explores football as basketball ends

Colin Voss explores football as basketball ends
February 11
23:57 2015

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

When a typical sports fan watches a big-time college football game like the Rose Bowl or National Championship Game, the thought of running out of the locker room and onto the field is nothing more than a pipe dream.

But for Mean Green basketball senior forward Colin Voss, watching college football powerhouses on Saturdays reminds him of his opportunity to experience what many football fans dream of.

“I’ll watch Wisconsin play or Michigan State, schools that I could have went to, and I see them in big games in the Rose Bowl and stuff,” Voss said. “I do think, ‘You know, I could be out there playing in the Rose Bowl right now.’”

Before deciding on collegiate basketball, Voss was recruited heavily out of East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan as a tight end to several premier Big Ten schools, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Wisconsin and Purdue University. He won four straight state championship titles in football but was also an all-state player in basketball.

When it came down to deciding between football and basketball, Voss turned to his head football coach for advice, who just so happened to also be his father.

“We just talked, and you know, I just struggled playing football every day,” Voss said. “I didn’t really like practicing all the time, whereas with basketball I lived in the gym. And he knew at the college level, [football] is a job. You do it 24/7. So you really have to love it to be able to do it every day.”

However, Voss’ decision to play basketball does not mean his football days are over. While his basketball eligibility will expire after the season, there is still an opportunity for Voss to gain one more year of eligibility in football due to a medical redshirt back in 2011. Because the NCAA has yet to grant the requested waiver, Voss has been unable to actively pursue potential football options, including the potential of playing at North Texas.

“Of course if something happens with football after the year, that would be awesome,” Voss said. “But right now I only have a limited amount of time left with playing basketball maybe, so I’m not even worried about it.”

Voss was not as heavily recruited in basketball as he was football, but he did receive offers from a handful of mid-major schools. He ultimately chose the University of Central Michigan as his basketball home after high school. But after a coaching change and a quadricep injury drove him to transfer to Northern Oklahoma College, he found his way to Denton about two years ago.

“It’s been the best couple of years of my life,” Voss said. “It’s really helped me mature. I’ve had ups and downs in my career, and for me to stay positive and stay on track, it was amazing that it led me here.”

Voss said the relationships he has formed off the court have made playing at North Texas worthwhile.

“I’ve been with great people, I’ve met some people and friends for life, and just playing here has been awesome,” Voss said. “It’s been one of the funnest times of my life.”

One of the relationships Voss has built is with fellow senior Jordan Williams. Both are leaders on the team, and they tend to have some friendly banter, including who has better fashion, who the better dunker is and would win a one-on-one battle in football.

“I told him he wouldn’t get no catches on me all game,” Williams said.

The 6-foot-7-inch, 240-pound Voss disagreed with his teammate.

“If I get one catch, he could never bring me down. His skinny self could never tackle me. That would be his problem,” Voss said. “I’ll just do a little curl on him, then it’s over. A little stiff arm, and he’s on the ground.”

Banter aside, Williams said Voss’ qualities as a teammate have been special.

“He’s one of those guys that everybody says, ‘He’s a good guy, best teammate ever, he’s always looking out for you, he always wants to know what’s wrong if he sees you down,’” Williams said. “He always is going to keep it real and tell you if you need to do something to pick it up.”

Head coach Tony Benford saw the same qualities in Voss when recruiting him to North Texas nearly two years ago. Knowing Voss is the son of a coach, Benford said he knew what attributes would be part of Voss’ mental makeup.

“[He’s a] winner, and he knows work ethic,” Benford said. “He’s a great teammate. He’s got great toughness. He’s going to play through injuries. It’s just a lot of qualities and the intangibles that you look for.”

If Voss is not granted the extra year of football eligibility, there could still be potential to play basketball professionally in Europe after the season. Benford played professionally both in the NBA and in Europe after his college days were finished and said Voss has the skillset to succeed overseas.

“I think he could play professionally over in Europe,” Benford said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt they look for those kinds of kids–you know, players that are very skilled, big guys that can play inside and outside, and he can do that.”

But Voss realizes his days as a collegiate basketball player are winding down, so he said he’s trying to simply enjoy the ride.

“I only have eight games left in my [college] basketball career, so all of my focus is just on that right now,” Voss said.

Featured Image: Redshirt senior forward Colin Voss surveys the court for an open teammate against Louisiana Tech University on Jan. 22. Photo by Ryan Vance – Senior Staff Photographer

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