MERIDEN — Jason Bruenn has coached the Platt football team for eight years and ranks Erlin Colon as the best lineman he’s had.
Now Colon is on his way to showcasing his talent on a bigger scale.
Bruenn watched the 2014 Platt grad play his spring football game at the Lackawanna College, a junior college in Scranton, Pa., on Saturday and was impressed.
Bruenn said Colon looked strong at blitz pickup, pull and reach blocking.
“He’s sharper now,” the coach said. “He’s a little more precise now. He’s playing at a high level.”
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive lineman was a force at Platt.
“Nobody else dominated the line like he did,” Bruenn said. “He had the size and the toughness. He was a leader on the field and would tell other kids on the line where to block. I’m sure our running backs didn’t mind running behind him either.”
Last fall, Colon played four games as a freshman at Lackawanna. Now the five starting lineman are off to Division I schools and Colon as slotted in as the team’s starting left guard.
Colon said he has put on 25 pounds since enrolling at the northwest Pennsylvania school.
“We lift every day at 4 a.m. before class and then we have practice in the afternoon,” Colon said. “I want to play as well I can to get an offer to play at a four-year school.”
Colon garnered some college interest coming out of Platt, but he said most schools found his grades to be a deterrent. He made it a priority to turn that around and sported a 3.7 GPA last semester.
Bruenn said Colon is a special and caring person and is prouder of his improvements in the classroom than his exploits on the football field.
“His junior year he had a rough spell [academically],” Bruenn said. “That set him back a little bit. Erlin could have gone to a Division III school, but this was one of the best ways he could have gone. He was always a leader on the team and has matured even more.”
Colon said he has developed on the field.
“I’ve had to work much harder to earn my spot on the team,” Colon said. “The competition makes you a better player. It’s made me more versatile. My strength is my pass blocking and I also finish my run blocks.”
Colon said he enjoys the physical nature of the sport.
“I love the aggressiveness. I also love smashing people on every play,” Colon said. “I like the fact that everyone is together. We are family. We go out together off the field and go out on the field and play our hearts out.”
Colon’s goal is to have a big year and earn a spot on a Division I roster. He would be the first in Bruenn’s eight-year tenure.
“I’m willing to any go to anyone that will give me a chance,” Colon said.
Colon said he wants to follow the footsteps Meriden resident John Jenkins. Jenkins went the junior college route and advanced to the University of Georgia before being drafted by the New Orleans Saints.
“That’s what I’m hoping,” Colon said. “I want to create my own path, but the same idea.”
Bruenn said he expects big things from Colon.
“It was such a proud moment for us to sit in the stands and watch him play,” Bruenn said. “To have Panther football represented at that level is a great thing for everybody. I told him he carries a lot of responsibility for us.
“My goal for all of my kids is to get better through college and get a degree. If you can play college football it’s a bonus. I hope to see him play on Saturdays. That would be a proud moment for me. What a proud moment that would be for Platt football.”
Read more articles like this and help support local journalism by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access just 99¢
Read more articles like this by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access for just 99¢