Q & A With Justin Colburn
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/26/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics


Senior Justin Colburn is a veteran returning starter who has played every offensive line position in his career at UNM. He is the smallest of the Lobos' five returning starters, but has added 30 pounds since his freshman year, bulking up to 300 pounds. Colburn is a self-made player who is a testament to the value of hard work. He is extremely dedicated on the field and in the weight room. He also brings great quickness and is a tough, fiery leader, which allowed him to return to quick tackle in place of injured sophomore Nate Hembree after the Texas Tech game. Colburn has played in 28 career games with 17 straight starts. In 2001 and 2003, he won the Beefmaster Award for players weighing 275 pounds and above at the Lobos' annual Night of Champions weightlifting competition. Colburn improved his bench to 410 pounds in the offseason. He redshirted in 1999 and is the first person in his family to attend college. This season he is the team-leader with 42 knockdown blocks in 3 games. Against BYU, Colburn had 15 knockdown blocks in 76 offensive snaps. Colburn helped lead the way for 235 yards rushing with 16 knockdown blocks in 96 plays against Texas Tech. In 2002 he was slated to start at quick tackle, but made the switch to center with the departure of Rashad McClure prior to fall camp. Colburn started all 14 games lined up in a variety of positions with 6 starts at center and 5 at quick tackle. He also started as an H-back in UNM's single-wing formation vs. Utah State and again vs. BYU in the 8-offensive lineman "diesel" package. Colburn played all but 11 offensive snaps and was second on the team with 143 knockdown blocks.

Question: What are your personal goals on the field for the rest of the 2003 season?

Justin Colburn: "Win the Mountain West Conference and lead the team in knockdown blocks."

Q: What is the toughest challenge of playing on the offensive line?

JC: "Moving a 300 pound defensive lineman backward when he wants to go forward."

Q: Which part of your game do you feel you need to continue to work on to become a more complete player?

JC: "Pass protection technique."

Q: Which position on the offensive line do you like to play the most and why?

JC: "I like playing tackle and center but for different reasons. I like center because you control calls and are placed as a leader on the offensive line. I like tackle because you block 245 pound guys instead of 300 pound guys."

Q: What non-football talents or hobbies do you have? Which hobbies would you like to pick-up or improve off the field?

JC: "I like playing games on the X-Box and love lifting weights."

Q: Who is the best player you have played with or against?

JC: "Ryan Denney from BYU, who now plays for my favorite team, the Buffalo Bills."

Q: Where's the toughest place you've had to play on the road and why?

JC: "Colorado State, because we have yet to win there in my four years."

Q: What's the best class you've taken at UNM and why?

JC: "Swimming for obvious reasons."

Q: What do you and your teammates need to do to accomplish your team goals this season?

JC: "Stay focused and out hitting our opponents."

Q: What is your routine in the weight room that allows you to become a two-time Beefmaster Award winner?

JC: "Intensity in the weight room is key. You must attack the weights like they are your worst enemy. Sleep, diet and recovery are also crucial elements."

Q: What does it mean for you to be the first person in your family to attend college?

JC: "It means a lot to me and without a scholarship offer I would not have been able to attend college."