Colin Boss is a great example of homegrown talent.
He grew up in Temple Terrace and played football for the Berkeley Prep Buccaneers. Now he’s a prominent member of the offensive line for the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, a Division I football program near Murfreesboro, TN, and a member of the Sunbelt Conference.
Boss has grabbed media headlines in Tennessee by being named to the 2011 Rimington Trophy Watchlist. The trophy has been awarded since 2000 to the nation’s best center, and past winners like Maurkice Pouncey (Florida), Daivd Bass (Michigan), and Ben Wilkerson (LSU) have been drafted into the NFL.
Boss is in his fifth year with the Blue Raiders. After red-shirting his freshman year, Boss was the “all around backup” as a sophomore and played most every position on the offensive line. By his junior year, he had proven himself at center, and now he’s going into his senior year as a two-year starter at the position.
At Berkeley, Boss was a three-year starter on the offensive line. He started out at center on the varsity team his sophomore year, when he helped the Bucs to a 10-1 season. Then, he moved to guard his junior year before finally landing at tackle his senior year.
For some players, all the moving around could make it hard for them to hone their skills at any particular position.
“It’s never been a big issue for me, moving around on the line,” Boss said. “One of the things (Middle Tennessee State) Coach (Rick) Stockstill is always preaching is knowing multiple positions.”
While Boss continues to make waves with the Blue Raiders and strengthen his position for the NFL Draft next spring, he said he’d like to kick his feet up in his hometown more than anything.
“It was great growing up in Temple Terrace,” Boss said. “I have a group of friends; we still hang out like we were kids when I come home.”
Boss cites many of the fun places he and his buddies would hang out or play pickup tackle football, like the 113 Fields near and the . He recalls some of his favorite pastimes, like canoeing down the Hillsborough River and finding trees to hang rope swings.
“A lot of these things wouldn’t have been accessible if we didn’t live where we did,” said Boss.
When Boss comes home he said he likes to go out to , , The Bulls Club and .
“When all my friends and I get together, we mess around like we’re 12-year-olds again,” he said. “People probably look at us and think we’re crazy.”
Boss and the Blue Raiders open their 2011 season this Saturday, Sept. 3, with a matchup against Purdue that will air nationally on the Big Ten Network.