Player Spotlight: A Sit-Down With Football’s John Steffen


After a grueling preseason, Colgate’s football team took on 23rd-ranked Cal Poly last weekend.

John Steffen is a junior on the 2017 Colgate Raiders football team. The Raiders opened the season last weekend against 23rd-ranked Cal Poly, which kicked off a two-game series. This was the third time that the Raiders face off against a Golden State opponent in program history. We caught up with John to ask him some questions about opening week.

Maroon-News: What are you majoring in?

John Steffen: Political science.

MN: When did you start playing football? 

JS: Seventh grade.

MN: Do you have any favorite memories from when you were younger? 

JS: One of my favorite memories from my early football days is actually my worst game ever played back in ninth grade. After the game my coach shook my hand and told me, “The best athletes have the worst memories.” That is something that has stuck with me ever since and has helped me get to where I am today.

MN: What has been your biggest challenge to getting where you are today athletically?

JS: The fifth game of my [high school] senior football season I tore the labrum and separated the AC joint in my throwing shoulder. I was a quarterback in high school so it made my job a little more difficult than it had to be. My goal growing up was to play college football and I wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I kept playing. I was soon blessed with the opportunity to play D1 football here at Colgate. After the season, I immediately got surgery to repair my shoulder, which required an eight month recovery time prior to my first season at the next level.

MN: What did your past offseason look like in terms of football related activities? 

JS: This past offseason was a glorious hell. The grind is never ending, from 6 a.m. runs to pounding the weights to hours upon hours of film study. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

MN: What makes you most excited for the upcoming season?

JS: This upcoming season I am most excited to inflict a substantial amount of legal violence upon our opponents with my brothers. There are some mean men on this team and it will be cool to see what kind of destruction they can cause between whistles. 

MN: What’s the biggest challenge to being a student-athlete at Colgate?

JS: Early on I’d say the biggest challenge was adjusting to the constant demand of academics and sports. All student-athletes here at Colgate are forced to be experts at time management or else we fail both on the playing field and in the classroom. Athletes typically just won’t accept failure in any avenue of life. As time goes on and we learn to own the constant adversity it becomes more of a lifestyle than a challenge. 

MN: There’s going to be a big game on Saturday against a Top 25 team that’s going to be nationally televised, what do you think the keys will be to getting a win?

JS: The two key things to coming back to Hamilton with a “W” will be discipline and trust. Every snap there are 11 jobs to do; if we stay disciplined and dominate our 1/11 and trust, the guy next to us will do the same then we will come back victorious.                                          

Contact Gideon Hamot [email protected].