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Q&A: First-year quarterback discusses journey and sudden spotlight

First-year+quarterback+Colin+Schumm+was+forced+to+step+into+the+starting+role+after+graduate+student+quarterback+A.J.+Wingfield+was+injured+against+Union+College.+Schumm+racked+up+a+4%E2%80%932+record+through+six+starts%2C+only+losing+to+ranked+opponents.
Nolan Saunders
First-year quarterback Colin Schumm was forced to step into the starting role after graduate student quarterback A.J. Wingfield was injured against Union College. Schumm racked up a 4–2 record through six starts, only losing to ranked opponents.

During the 2023 Ithaca College football season, the spotlight shifted to first-year quarterback Colin Schumm, who stepped onto the field following graduate student quarterback A.J. Wingfield’s injury against Union College.

Following his start, Schumm impressed everyone, maintaining a 4–2 record as a starter for the remainder of the season with his only losses being against ranked opponents SUNY Cortland and Randolph-Macon College. Despite the attention, Schumm has remained humble, attributing his achievements to the support of his team and the guidance of the coaching staff.

Staff writer Flynn Hynes met with Schumm to discuss his journey before college, how he is reflecting on this season and how he is preparing for the future.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Flynn Hynes: Can you take me back to your high school days and even before. What were your main interests and how did your experience shape your decision to come play football at the collegiate level?

Colin Schumm: My main interests were really just my responsibilities growing up. My dad always talked about, “Your responsibilities are school, family, and sports.” … I think having that mindset really just molded me to work, be disciplined and hold myself accountable for just everything I do. 

FH: Did you look up to anyone growing up that you modeled your game after? Any quarterbacks specifically?

CS: Honestly, no, I really didn’t play quarterback until my sophomore year of high school. So I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play football in college yet until my junior year, so I never really paid attention to somebody specifically.

FH: I saw you played both basketball and baseball in high school and you were pretty good at all three sports: football, baseball and basketball. What was it about football that ultimately led you to choose it as your collegiate sport? Was there a specific moment or reason that just made you shift your focus?

CS: Not necessarily. I feel like I just grew up in a football family. My dad’s always loved football, it’s always just been in our blood and I think me carrying that out just like my older brother did, it was just good for our family.

FH: Can you share some details about the recruitment process and what ultimately made you decide to play football at Ithaca College? Were there any other schools you seriously considered, and what factors played a significant role in your decision?

CS: There were a couple of schools that showed interest but Ithaca was really the only college that put both of their feet in the door for me and really told me how much they wanted me to come and be a part of their program. Throughout the whole process, you could feel the love from the coaches, the players and just their willingness to do anything for you, whether you’re in the program or not. I felt that every time I came to Ithaca and every time I’ve talked to any coaches on the coaching staff, so that’s really what helped me to come here.

FH: Can you talk about the connection between you and other first-years on the team, especially the first-year quarterbacks? How do you guys support and push each other to improve and what kind of chemistry do you guys share?

CS: We’re all a close-knit team. We’re all friends. I think with us, it was really just getting comfortable with each other because it was the first time that we got to interact and figure out who each other are. But all the quarterbacks that came in this year are really talented and I think any of us could have stepped in at that moment and played the role for the team and did what they had to do. I think this group that we have in our [first-year] class really has a lot of room to grow for the future.

FH: Starting in the Cortaca game and two playoff games, how have these intense games prepared you and overall improved your ability?
CS: It’s given me a little bit of confidence going into next year and going into spring ball. Those are obviously good games to be a part of [and] to experience, especially early on in someone’s career. I just have to keep getting more comfortable and more familiar with everything that we’re doing as an offense and as a program so we can excel.

FH: What are you looking to do this offseason and beyond to prepare for next season?

CS: For me, it’s just getting bigger, stronger and faster. You know, everybody’s goal in the offseason is just to improve yourself, improve your body, and how you move throughout the offseason.

FH: What is the goal of your football journey? When you are done with collegiate ball, what do you want to look back on in your career?

CS: I think it’s more about the people you did it with. It’s more about the experience and everything you overcame as a team, as individuals, and carrying that through life. Football is more about life than people think. It does just look like some guys just running around chasing a ball, but really there are life lessons that come with it if you really dive into it and buy into what you’re doing. 

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About the Contributors
Flynn Hynes, Assistant Sports Editor
Nolan Saunders, Photographer
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