By Eddie Bates, Becca Spilka and Josh Imholte

Hard work is the key to success for senior running back Matthew Colburn. During his time at Dutch Fork, he has gained the reputation of a hard working and successful running back. His football career was solidified as he was named 2014 Mr. Football.

“Once you get that far in something like [Mr. Football] you don’t expect it,” Matthew said. “You love to have something to look back on, it was such a total surprise. I was in awe.”

The award of Mr. Football is a prestigious title, declaring the winner as the best player in the state.  After being selected as one of the five finalists, Matthew made his way out to the North/South all-star game.

“On the scoreboard at halftime they had a screen that showed each one of our highlights and had little bits of things to talk about [like] what kind of persons we were and what we have done in high school,” Matt said.

Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney have also received Mr. Football in the past.  Matthew makes history as he is the first running back since Lattimore to win the award.

“It is pretty cool to follow in the steps of Marcus Lattimore. Looking where he went after he won such an award. He had a crazy career in South Carolina, basically a hometown hero and he went onto the NFL,” Matthew said. “It is fascinating to look at everything that he has won.”

Tom Knotts plays a role to Matthew’s success, coaching him throughout his high school years, helping him to surpass national averages of running back stats and placing well above every category on the website MaxPreps.

“He’s a great student, athlete, and a tremendous leader. He’s just an overall good football player who does things the right way,” Knotts said.

Finishing the game in second place marks the end of Matthew’s high school football career but Matthew has yet to reach the pinnacle of his career.  Verbally committing to Louisville, Matt takes his accolades and talents to a higher level. He passes his legacy on to his younger brother sophomore Christopher Colburn.

“[Matt has] matured over the years.  We just kept challenging him to grow up and accept more responsibility, and he did,” Knotts said. “He accepted his role as leader of the team, [and] he will be greatly missed next year.”