Georgia Tech freshman Colson Brown has yet to see the field for the Yellow Jackets’ football team this fall.
Luckily for the walk-on quarterback, the men’s golf team needed a guy.
In a rare occurrence in college golf, Georgia Tech committed to overlapping events, the East Lake Cup at nearby Atlanta Athletic Club and the Cypress Point Classic, held at the prestigious Monterey Peninsula club. Both events began Monday, and the Yellow Jackets needed 11 total players for the two tournaments.
There was just one problem: Head coach Bruce Heppler has just 10 active players after junior Ben Reuter chose to redshirt this season.
Heppler’s two options were either withdraw from one of the tournaments or find a fill-in.
“We won [at Cypress Point] last time [in 2019], and they’ve been really good to us, so I didn’t feel good about pulling out,” Heppler said Monday.
So, how exactly did Brown get the call? It’s quite the story.
“I actually kind of performed some surgery on my toe,” Heppler said, “so I’m in the training room bleeding out, and all a sudden this kid jumps up behind me, he’s getting some treatment, and he goes, ‘Oh, you’re the golf coach.’ So, he introduces himself, and he tells me he played some high school golf, and I said, ‘Well, maybe this is the guy who can fill the spot.’”
Brown was a three-sport athlete at North Augusta High School in South Carolina, just over the river from Augusta, Georgia. He also played soccer, and in addition to quarterback he served as the team’s punter. He’s currently not listed among Georgia Tech’s three quarterbacks on its depth chart, so when Heppler asked quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, who won a Heisman Trophy at Florida State, if he could borrow Brown for the week, Weinke had no issue.
“He said, ‘Do you see what his number is?’” Heppler recalled. “It’s 22. And he goes, ‘It might be a while before a quarterback goes in wearing 22, so you can have him.’”
The funny thing: Brown, at 6 feet, 4 inches tall, isn’t even the tallest player on Heppler’s team. He’s not the second tallest, either. That would be 6-foot-8 Christo Lamprecht and 6-foot-5 Bartley Forrester, respectively. The Yellow Jackets actually now boast six players who are 6-foot-3 or taller.
With Heppler choosing to go with his starters – Lamprecht, Forrester, Hiroshi Tai, Carson Kim and Kale Fontenot – for the East Lake Cup, which is televised on Golf Channel, he included Brown on the six-man lineup for Cypress Point.
What a place to make your college golf debut – and likely only career start.
“Obviously, we’re happy for him,” Heppler said. “It’s a neat experience for him, and he did our guys a favor or else we would’ve had to pull out of that one, and we didn’t want to do that.”
Brown lost both his matches on Monday, teaming with Brady Rackley to lose in foursomes to Texas’ Tommy Morrison and Jacob Sosa, 4 and 3, and then falling to Auburn’s Brendan Valdes and Reed Lotter in four-ball, 2 and 1.
Fontenot won the 18-hole individual title at AAC as Georgia Tech earned the third seed for match play, which starts Tuesday.