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From the NFL Combine: LB Junior Colson's Road to the NFL, Which Traveled From Haiti to Brentwood to Michigan, Helped Shape Him

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INDIANAPOLIS – Michigan linebacker Junior Colson didn't take the easy path to the NFL Combine.

In reality, his path to this point was not only a long one – from Haiti to Middle Tennessee to Michigan to now to Indianapolis – but one filled with adjustments, and difficulties, as well.

Yet here he is, on the doorstep of the NFL.

And it has him prepared him for what's next.

"What helped me get here is grit, and the will of God," Colson said on Wednesday. "I think He has blessed me with so much potential and talent, and to be here, why waste it? I survived an earthquake, I survived both my parents passing away. But I don't think there's anything that somebody could throw at me that I'm not ready for."

Born in Haiti on December 6, 2002, Colson lost his father when he was just a child. His father's will stipulated that Colson move into an orphanage, with the hopes that someone would adopt him, and provide a better life.

The family ended up being the Colsons, from Brentwood, Tennessee. Melanie Colson and her oldest daughter, Amanda, discovered Junior during a church mission trip, and they brought him back to Tennessee, where he was raised by Steve and Melanie.

But even before then, Colson was in Haiti in 2010 when the country sustained a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands, and impacted millions more.

In 2012, Colson flew to America, and joined his adopted family after spending years in an orphanage.

"I was (in Haiti) until I was about 9 ½," Colson said. "The transition was very different – I didn't speak any English, so to be able to learn English, going through the earthquake, coming to (America), football was kind of my way of learning the American way. So that was a big transition for me. There were a lot of things I had to learn."

Colton, who played soccer growing up, first started playing football for the Brentwood Blaze.

He attended Clovercroft Elementary in Franklin, and then became a star player at Ravenwood High School, where he became a top college prospect.

Colson said the people in Tennessee accepted him with open arms, and shaped his future.

"I felt like they embraced me very well, they understood who I am, and what I brought," Colson said. "To have those type of people, those types of folks around me, was phenomenal."

Here at the NFL Combine, Colson is doing his best to get accepted by NFL teams.

In his final season at Michigan, Colson started all 15 games at linebacker, and he led the team with 95 tackles including 2.0 for loss, two quarterback hurries, and two pass breakups.

Now, he's ready for what's next.

"Ever since I first stepped on the football field, I always wanted to be the best," Colson said. "I think I have one of the best tapes out there, especially as a linebacker. I want (teams) to be able to understand what type of player I am."

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