Dustin and Britton Colquitt glance at their phones to find those words before each game; a message fueled by faith and sent by their mother. The saying serves as a constant reminder of who they’re playing for. It’s not the crowd of thousands of people, but a one-man audience, watching their one-man show.
With the message in mind, the players suit up and take the field to get started. They stand beside each other, going through the same
motions, aiming for the same target, just with different jerseys on their backs.
After the brothers finish their kicking warmups side by side, they part, Britton joining the Broncos and Dustin, the Chiefs. Let the games begin.
THE FIRST FAMILY OF FOURTH DOWN
The Colquitts never threw things. That just wasn’t their way of life. They kicked stuff. It was always your typical “Hey, I bet I can hit that house across the street from here;” those childhood shenanigans that the neighbors called complaining about. However, growing up, their ammo wasn’t exactly what you’d expect.
The brothers’ father, Craig Colquitt, a two-time NFL punting champion, wasn’t crazy about seeing his little boys getting hit. Football was too aggressive for their undeveloped bodies. So he put it off.
“My dad was actually never that dad who made us play football,” Dustin says. “He said if we got that itch he’d be there every day to help. He wanted us to write our own stories.”
With a restriction from playing until high school, the boys developed their own stories within competitive club soccer, a route that made family and friends scratch their heads, and the middle school coaches urge the boys to pick up a football. But there was no time for that. Between traveling for soccer tournaments—fueled by their mother, Anne Colquitt’s, homemade peanut butter and honey sandwiches—the family barely squeezed in time for their annual trips to the beach and the Smoky Mountains.
It was always futbol, not football.
Now, after a childhood full of headers and goals, the brothers are the two highest-paid punters in the NFL. It wasn’t all that easy though. Both Britton and Dustin traveled unconventional paths to reach their current positions. Although the setbacks were separate, they both shaped the players’ current careers and character.
When middle school concluded for Dustin, three years before Britton would begin Bearden high school, those speculating friends and family thought it was finally time for some Colquitt football. Well, not quite.
That itch didn’t come for Dustin.There was simply no time; soccer was his world then and football didn’t fit in. Thus, while Britton started straightaway as a freshman, Dustin remained caught up in his childhood sport, uninterested in the tight pants his father’s pastime offered. It wasn’t until Dustin’s final year that he was thrown onto the field. “My senior year our kicker hurt his ankle really badly, and that’s when my high school football coach called and said, ‘Hey we’ve asked you before, but now, I’m friends with your dad, we go to the
same church, you’re playing until he gets back.’” And so it was decided. Dustin suited up and took the plunge, with his father taking lunch breaks off from work to help his unconventional left-handed form.
After a successful opening game, all of a sudden he was on the radar. With the connections his father had to the University of Tennessee, at the end of the school year Dustin found himself at a crossroad most athletes face before high school: soccer or football. It was time to choose.