Land of 10 has embarked on a series of Next Generation stories as Iowa writers Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse travel the country to meet this year’s incoming class of freshmen. This week we visited S Djimon Colbert of Liberty, Mo.
LIBERTY, Mo. — Djimon Colbert was too young to watch Bob Sanders play in person, but a few years ago when the Bishop Miege defensive back was introduced to the former Iowa All-America strong safety, it left a big impression.
“I dream to be like him,” Colbert said. “I don’t think a lot of safeties did it like him, just the size he was. I’m obviously not built like him. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He came out every game and balled out. If I end up being like him, that would be crazy. That’s a big comparison.”
Colbert, who signed with Iowa in February, stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 215 pounds. That’s about 5 inches taller and 15 pounds heavier than Sanders, who dominated the Big Ten with his physical style play from 2001-04. When Colbert attended Winnetonka High School well before he committed to the Hawkeyes, a high school assistant coach introduced him to Sanders’ video highlights. Colbert was blown away.
“I was just watching his highlights and man, this dude is a freak,” Colbert said.
Colbert was recruited by Iowa to play the same position as Sanders. He started on varsity all four years in high school, the first three at Winnetonka in North Kansas City. He played his final year at Bishop Miege in Shawnee Mission, Kan., and graduates on Saturday.
Colbert’s father, Travis, brought up Sanders unprompted in a conversation. He recalled watching Sanders at owa and later with the Indianapolis Colts. Sanders helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI, and he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2007.
“He was nasty,” Travis Colbert said. “He was just always hurt. But when he was healthy, he was tremendous.
“He was a pocket rocket.”
For the complete Iowa NextGen series, click this link.