Raising Kain: Colter to Lead Wildcats Offense

The graduation of one-time Heisman hopeful Dan Persa has opened the door for the ascension of Kain Colter to assume the reigns to the Northwestern offense.

The former three- star recruit out of Colorado started a few games last season as Persa recovered from a torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2010 season. Colter showed enough to the coaches in his limited action that he saw action at wide receiver and as a ball carrier when Persa was healthy.

Labeling Colter a quarterback is a disservice to the rising junior. He is an athletic, old-school football player.

As a ball carrier, Colter led the Wildcats in rushes (135), rushing yards (654), and rushing touchdowns (9).

When he was split out wide or lined up in the slot as a receiver, Kolter finished third in receptions (43), yards (466) and tied for third in receiving touchdowns (3).

As a quarterback, Colter completed 67.1% of his passes to the tune of a 6/1 touchdown: interception ratio.

Albeit in a small sample size, the promise Colter showed as a dual-threat signal caller has fans cautiously optimistic the diminutive quarterback will rise to the challenge and make fans forget about Persa with his strong play and hold off 2013 four- star recruit Matt Alviti.

However, significant questions remain about Colter and will need to be answered early if the Wildcats are expected to advance to a fifth straight bowl game. The biggest question concerning Colter is if the player is a jack-of-all-trades athlete masquerading as a quarterback and if he has the arm talent to get the ball to a deep group of wide receivers.

That group of wideouts is without its two most productive players from last season in Jeremy Ebert and Drake Dunsmore, who have taken their talents to the NFL.

However, the returning crop of receivers may include former five-star recruit Kyle Prater, who awaits the verdict on whether or not the NCAA will allow him to play this season after transferring from USC, who will surely help Colter’s development as a passer.

Nevertheless, Colter will be the man behind center as summer camp gets underway and will be ready to answer the questions that surround him.

Colter’s first test will come September 1st at Syracuse and the school that prides itself on its academics hope Colter will have all the right answers.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan.  Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com every Wednesday morning from 8-10.  View his show’s website here.