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Brothers in Big Orange
Britton Colquitt, reinstated to UT football team, joins All-SEC brother as family’s fourth Vol kicker


The Colquitt brothers donned the Big Orange side-by-side Saturday, and mom and dad couldn’t have been prouder.

While big brother and University of Tennessee senior punter Dustin Colquitt is once again in the running to win the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top college punter, younger brother Britton is just glad to be wearing Vol Orange.


Reinstated by head coach Phillip Fulmer after a suspension lasting almost one year, Britton joined his big brother and their parents as one happy family during UT’s Media Day on Shields-Watkins Field in Neyland Stadium.

“It feels really good, it’s a big relief off my back,” said Britton, a UT freshman kicker and the fourth Colquitt to join the Vols as a kicker/punter since the mid-1970s. The brothers’ father, Craig Colquitt, started the tradition by earning All-SEC honors in 1976 and ’77 before grabbing two Super Bowl rings as a punter with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for being able to wear the Orange — at least on press day — and be on the roster for an entire season with his big brother, “it’s awesome, it’s a dream-come-true,” Britton said.

“We’ve been talking about it for a while, and we’ve been delayed by some of these incidents,” he added. “We get along real good, and so it’s going to be real fun to hang out on the sideline, and possibly do some kicking together.”

Having cleared all legal hurdles following a series of underage drinking and driving under the influence of alcohol charges from September 2003 to last February, Britton said he’s turned his life around and is ready to contribute as either a backup punter or kick-off specialist. Being red-shirted is a strong possibility.

Speaking about Dustin, Britton said that during his rehabilitation, “besides my parents he’s been my biggest support, and I really appreciate him for it, and I think our relationship’s that much better because of it.”

Dustin said, “I think it’s awesome, I mean he’s come a long way, definitely. He’s a great high school punter, and I think he has all the potential in the world to be a great college punter.”

Britton, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound 19-year-old, was a two-time All-state punter at Bearden High School, averaging 45.2 yards per punt on 41 punts in 2002.

“It’s been tumultuous, but it’s still like the first time, which is exciting,” Craig said about Saturday. “We wanted to see them side-by-side because we’ve been taking pictures of them since they were babies, so now to see ’em in the Big Orange is a dream come true, it’s very exciting.

“Britton said Friday he heard ‘Rocky Top’ on the radio and it just woke him up again.”

Their mother, Anne Colquitt, was equally excited. “It’s the only time in their lives they’ll be on the same team,” she said. “They can learn from each other, they’re good for each other.”

Although mom said Dustin is “so much further ahead” of Britton as an overall kicker right now, “Britton really is further along mentally than Dustin was as a freshman.”

Craig was not the only Colquitt to set a high standard for Dustin and Britton. Jimmy Colquitt, the brothers’ cousin, was a two-time All-American at UT (1982 and ’83) who punted for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

Craig said coach Fulmer announced his decision to Britton and the family two days before, on Thursday, Aug. 5.

“Britton did all that he was asked to do by the court system, has done an excellent job with that,” Fulmer said. “(Did) all that he was asked to do by Student Conduct here at the University, and all that he was asked to do by me. And so I’m happy to reinstate him and give him an opportunity here to put all that behind him. It was an embarrassment for him and his family and us. Hopefully that is behind us and he learned a big lesson.

“He’s also going to continue weekly being involved with alcohol-related community service events (where) he has a chance to help other young people through what he may have been through.”

As for possibly seeing playing time as either a kick-off specialist or back-up punter this season, “I think that’s all to be determined ... everybody that can help, we’ll see,” Fulmer said. “... The idea was for him to come in and red-shirt behind Dustin and have four years.”

Britton said, “I’m just glad to be in the Orange, but, I mean, two-a-days will tell ... I’d like to get out there and get a chance to play some ... but if not, I’ll just red-shirt.”

 

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