Colton Underwood is recently making headlines, but Bello Mag was lucky enough to sit down with the "temporarily retired" NFL football star a while back to get to know the towering athlete with a heart of gold. In between working on his next venture, and raising awareness & funds to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis with his own nonprofit organization, The Legacy Foundation, the Illinois native Colton is sure to make a lasting impression on those he meets.
You’ve been affiliated with the NFL for the past four years and now you’re ‘temporarily retired’. What’s been your experience with the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders? What has been the most important thing you learned?
Playing in the NFL was a dream come true. Ever since I was a little boy I had my eyes set on being able to say I was a professional athlete. I worked hard every day to make sure that it became a possibility and sacrificed a lot for the game of f ootball. There have been so many great life lessons that have come from football, they have helped shape me into the man I am today. I always told myself I will never let football define who I am, I would only let in enhance who I am.
What inspired you to start the Legacy Foundation?
My cousin Harper was born with Cystic Fibrosis at birth, the same year the NFL became a reality. It felt like the right thing to do to align myself with raising awareness and money to find a cure for CF. I might have started the foundation for her, but I continue to fight everyday for the kids and people living with CF that I meet all around the country.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting your own Foundation?
The most rewarding aspect of starting my foundation was launching the Legacy Project. A project that allows me to travel across the country to all 50 states and surprise families and people living with CF in need of a new medical vest with the resources to stay healthy.
We understand you’re connected with the Humane Society. How did you become involved with the divisions in Illinois and San Diego?
Before any of my non profit work I was always a huge dog guy. Anytime I get the chance to promote adopting a new best friend, I take it. These animals are the most selfless creatures and deserve to be treated right! I worked closely with all the humane societies in every community that I played football in.
You seem to be someone who’s been highly decorated with experience in both professional sports and non-profit sectors. Can you shine some light on entering the restaurant industry with opening (and now selling) 4th & Goal Grill?
I always told myself I was more than a football player, so every off season I pushed myself to go outside the box and get a little bit better off the field. I dabbled in many business adventures to gain more real world experience. Using what I learned on the field allowed me to grow as a person off the field by exemplifying leadership and communication skills.
Any plans for future ventures?
I’m never done growing and will continue to do so, but for now I am focusing my attention on my non-profit and my personal life. I want someone to share all of these great moments with. That’s what life is all about. Fun One-Offs
Pancakes or waffles?
Waffles (with peanut butter and honey)
Book or movie?
Superman or Batman?
Mountains or beach?
Instagram or Twitter?