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Former Colton QB thriving at Southern Illinois

JOSH STRAUGHAN.jpg

He’s a Division I college football stud, playing at the highest possible level, wearing the “Number 12” on his back. That’s the same exact number he wore just five years ago when he tore it up at Colton High School.

Josh Straughan tore it up every Friday night during football season for Colton High School. And now, five years later, the Colton product has taken his game to the highest level. Straight out of high school, Straughan committed to Division 2 Stillman College. That’s where he became an All-American Quarterback. There Straughan had to make the adjustment from eight-man football to 11 man…and it was an adjustment that didn’t come easily.

"It was difficult I had to spend a lot of extra time practicing the different throws and studying film because I hadn't played it,” said Straughan. “You had to prepare a little more and a lot of it was trial and error and just getting as many reps as I could."

But as fate would have it, that football program folded, forcing Josh to find another school, however the path wasn’t easy. Austin Peay promised him to become the governors starting QB. But on Christmas Eve of last year, his scholarship was pulled after a coaching change and he was left without a school again, or so it seemed. On Christmas morning a call from Southern Illinois Head Coach Nick Hill, was like a Christmas gift he could never imagine. A scholarship offer.

"You know I think it's big,” said Straughan. “Only a handful of people have come out of my town and played Division one. "

Straughan won the starting job during Fall Camp and has quickly blossomed into one of the nation’s premier gunslingers. The Saluki signal caller ranks 17th nationally among all Division I QB’s in passing yard, be it FCS or FBS and has twice been named the ‘Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week” just three weeks into the season, but Josh says he still gets a ribbing from his teammates about his 8-man days in Colton.

"They get me, they get me sometimes about the 8-man stuff,” said Straughan. “I've never met anyone who's played 8 man and went on to Division I (at the quarterback position)"

Now Straughan has drawn the eye of some NFL scouts with his recent play, where he threw for nearly 300-yards and four TD’s in Southern Illinois win over Murray State on Saturday.

Straughan and the Salukis return to the field on October first against Northern Iowa.

That right there goes to show you that it doesn’t much matter where you grow up or where you came from. You can certainly still do whatever you set your mind too and Josh is certainly living proof of that.


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