Adrian Colbert: The 49ers’ Unsung Hero
49ers’ defensive back Adrian Colbert likes to be known as “the punisher”, by his teammates for his hard-hitting plays on the field. But Colbert also knows a thing or two about adversity.
While living in Wichita Falls, Texas, he was hit by a car and suffered life-threatening injuries. Colbert fell into a coma for more than a week. He had scars from surgery on a broken arm and a meniscus tear in his knee.
But that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream to play in the NFL.
After transferring from Texas to University of Miami ,Colbert finished the 2016 season with 22 total tackles, one interception and three pass deflections in seven games played. He was incredible on the field, scouts just questioned his durability.
Colbert struggled to stay healthy in college and even admitted his tackling needed improvement. That’s why he was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2017 NFL draft.
But after injuries to Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, Colbert showcased playmaking prowess. He ranked fourth by Pro Football Focus among all rookie safeties with an overall grade of 78.9. The rookie defensive back finished with 30 tackles, five pases defended and two forced fumbles on the season.
Colbert received the Thomas Herrion Memorial Award as voted on by his coaches. With all the attention star quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is receiving, Colbert’s heroic plays are not going unnoticed by his teammates.
“The whole defense started to gel a lot better, and especially stopping the run. We had a lot of injuries on the way, [but] we had a lot of young guys like [Adrian Colbert] stepping up and playing at a high level,” said defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
The 49ers are 6-0 in games where Adrian Colbert started at free safety. The tape doesn’t lie: Colbert makes a solid case to start at free safety next season.
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