Colton Underwood debuts Monday night as ABC’s The Bachelor for their 2019 season and there will be no shortage of references to both his football-playing past and his virginity. Many fans of the series know that Underwood currently lives in Denver, Colorado, but that’s not where he went to college and played collegiate football.
The Bachelor star was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and he grew up in Washington, Illinois. After going to high school in Washington, he headed to Illinois State University for college.
According to Vidette Online, the “Student Voice of Illinois State University,” Underwood was a standout during his time playing with the Redbirds. Colton was there from 2010 through 2013 and played as a defensive end and linebacker.
During his time playing for Illinois State University, Colton had 45 career games and he racked up 215 tackles. A profile on the ISU website makes it clear that their college community is excited to claim Underwood as one of their own and they’ll definitely be watching his Bachelor season.
According to the ISU profile, fans “watched him wreak havoc on opposing offenses for four seasons as a standout football player.”
During his time with the Redbirds, ISU went to the playoffs in 2012 for the first time in six seasons. The team’s head coach Brock Spack noted Underwood’s high effort, relentless competitive spirit, and toughness as his key attributes as a player.
Underwood also made an impact as a college football player by showcasing a solid work ethic and a great deal of leadership that kept everybody else on the team working hard and motivated. Spack had plenty of praise to share about Colton from his time at Illinois State University.
“Not only was he an excellent athlete, but really a poster child for what a student-athlete should be. He was a pillar for how we build our program and the success we had after he left was built on his standard.”
Colton’s experience as an ISU Redbird has driven him post-college as well. He has told current student-athletes to “Stand out, make an impact, and be different.”
According to the Bachelor star’s LinkedIn page, he focused on business management and management information systems while attending ISU. He was named “All-American” in 2012 and 2013 and all of that success did propel him into a short-lived professional football-playing opportunity.
It certainly appears that Colton Underwood’s experience playing football at Illinois State University had a significant impact on his drive and goals for his life post-college. While the Bachelor star didn’t go on to have a notable impact in the NFL, he clearly still loves football a great deal and fans can expect to see plenty of game references this season as he looks for his future wife.