clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Legacy Boilers: Interview with Rosevelt Colvin

From a microwave society to Thanksgiving spent in the gym, Rosevelt discusses life as a Purdue alum and now parent.

USA TODAY Sports Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

I didn’t play sports at Purdue, I chalked it up to only being 5’10 and not being tall enough for D1. After watching Chloe Chicoine destroy the net all volleyball season I have now succumbed to the fact that I just wasn’t nearly talented enough. Despite only playing intramural sports, I love all things Purdue Athletics and I’m about as crazy as fan as the next.

I would assume for the athletes that loyalty runs even more deep, especially if they end their collegiate career at the same place they started (damn you, transfer portal). So, when we get a player whose parents or siblings or grandparents played for Purdue we can hope they share a common allegiance for our alma mater. Whether it’s landing Big Dog’s son Gicarris Harris or watching Yanni Karlaftis after Big George or all three Thieneman brothers who have all come to Purdue, it’s a family of black and gold.

This year is special, we get to cheer on two siblings in two different sports who just so happen to have a former Purdue star as their dad. Of course, I’m talking about the Colvin’s.

Rosevelt Colvin, father to Raven and Myles, was a former football player for the Boilers during the 90’s. The linebacker was selected as All-Big Ten Teams in ’97 and ’98 before being drafted to the NFL.

After college he went on to be selected in the fourth round for the Chicago Bears and posted double-digit sacks in 2001 and 2002. He then went on to play with the New England Patriots and was a two-time Super Bowl Champion. For Rosevelt, I’m sure he would refer these as the good ‘ol days. But his days of football are behind him and like many parents, he spends a lot of his time watching his kids live out their dreams.

Both of Colvin’s children now don the old gold and black. Raven who is a standout middle for the women’s volleyball team and has won Big Ten Defensive Player of the week several times this season; I guess you could say defense lives in that household. And freshman Myles Colvin, an athletic guard on the men’s basketball team. Myles is still earning his minutes but he’s already proven his shooting ability hitting 55% from deep this season. He’s fearless and as a freshman, that’s special to see.

As someone who has had involvement in three sports at Purdue, I thought who better to talk to about this years seasons. Rosevelt was kind enough to take some time and answer my questions as we covered a little bit of each, so let’s dive in.

Let’s start with football. There have been some struggles this season with all the changes. What are your thoughts?

They had some opportunities early in the season to get wins that change moral and planning for the next week etc. unfortunately we didn’t get those. Close only counts in horseshoes. My mindset on it all is to keep working. Hard work pays.

I think fans’ biggest worry is going back to a bottom feeder program. How do you feel about Walters at the helm and moving forward?

I think in our microwave society, everyone wants things right now. Even now, the microwave has become less used in households and now it’s air fryers. If you try and please everyone, you’ll never make the right folks happy. None of us pay his salary, run practices or manages games. He needs time and hopefully that soon the programs win column is heavier. I’m for the brand, we all should be and stop complaining. More than anything the kids need our support.

What would you like to see this team do to end the season and bring some hope for next year?

For me as a former player it’s always about competing. They do that each week and that makes me proud to be an alum. I’m not at practice each day or on the sidelines to see the ins and outs so if the basic stuff is taken care of, I’m good. It’s a matter of a play or player here and there to swing things in our favor. Coach Tiller took Jim Colletto’s recruits and had his best “record” in his tenure. Just keep working. Regardless of who you are. A coach, a player, everyone just keeps working to be better today than we were yesterday and that gives us a shot.

Okay, I wanted to include some football since you used to play, but as a parent, I know it’s all about your kids. How does it feel to have two of your kids in a Purdue uniform this year?

Awesome!!!! Man, God has truly blessed me to have the success I had in my playing years. To go on to do well in the NFL was great. Now Tiffany and I are kicking ourselves. Raven had a great first two years. The anticipation for Myles was a lot and now that he’s here and is doing well, I can’t put into words. As a parent your lifelong concern is the wellbeing of your child. They are making us proud.

I cover a lot of volleyball, so I’ve had the pleasure of watching Raven the past couple of years. What has been your favorite memory of watching her so far?

There have been a few. I’d say her freshman year was special with that team going to the elite 8. Seeing her mature into a leader last year and now taking over as one of if not the best in conference this year has me screaming and losing my voice every match. This past week Vs Penn St. was nice. A few of their girls were talking a little trash so when Raven got a block in set five to get our 14th point, I lost it!!

This volleyball team had a lot of hype coming into this season and has faced some struggles. What do you think they need to work on to break through in the tournament?

They are doing what they need. Ravens encouraged by the progress of her and her teammates. They have “options” and in any sport that’s important. I think they are the youngest if not one of the youngest teams in the power five. Some of the girls just got on campus two months ago. They are trending in the direction IMO.

Myles comes into Purdue with one of the most highly anticipated teams. He’s clearly an athlete, but it’s a deep bench. How do you keep him positive if shots aren’t falling or minutes are limited?

Well, I would tell him to go dunk the ball every time and stop shooting threes but I’m not the coach. Unfortunately for him but fortunately for the team he’s been through this a few times so mentally he understands how to carry himself and stay ready. Myles may be the youngest player in the power five this year being that he just turned 18. A couple seasons ago Paint told me a story about Glenn Robinson, I’m not comparing him to Big Dog, but he said it didn’t matter what gym or who he played against, Glenn was the same player. I’ve seen that in Myles the last few years since he took off. Didn’t matter if he was playing in Europe for the 3v3 for USA, 5v5 for USA, on his HS team with kids that wouldn’t pass him the ball, in a pro am or pick up runs with NBA guys, he just does him and keeps it moving. He has a calmness about him that makes him unbothered. Some of that is the issues with teammates and coaches he’s had, and some is his natural demeanor and who he is. Ultimately it gives him a mindset to persevere with a positive attitude and be the best version of himself.

He clearly had a long list of places he could go. Was Purdue always the number one choice because of family ties, or was there a point he wanted to branch out somewhere else?

From what he told me Purdue wasn’t the clear-cut choice until he sat down and looked at all the variables. He dropped 30 points in a summer league game and didn’t miss a shot in front of Michigan, MSU, ND, Tulane, IU, Butler, OSU, Purdue Wisco. Woody called him 30 min after the game and offered him. The next step was offers from all the other power five schools because a NCAA live period was the next weekend. Ironically it was a former IU coach’s call that triggered him to say he was tired of the back and forth and wanted to be done. I said as long as if Michigan or Oregon or Gonzaga calls and it won’t change your mind do it. PU had a lead due to Raven going to be there, but I told him to call Paint and let him know he was ready and then call all the other schools to tell them it was a wrap.

Thanksgiving dinner at your house must be fun. Do you see some sibling rivalry about which parents go to what game?

Last week was the first conflict. I drove to Wisco for volleyball and Tiff came to the Grace game. We try and consider all the factors to make a good choice. The kids have been good about it. The last few years with Myles in high school we had a little more flexibility. Now it’s a little more complicated. Unfortunately, we haven’t had Thanksgiving at the house since Raven graduated HS. Each year they have a two-game series with someone. Her freshman year we spent the night in WL because they had two matches that weekend then last year they were on the east coast. Now this year, Myles will be coming back from Hawaii and Raven and the VB team will be in Michigan!! We wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being a sports family we have become accustomed to being on the road. We are ok being in a gym or on the way to one if we can see them compete and ultimately have a smile on their face while doing it!!

Football has now wrapped up their season after ending with a win over Indiana. In a rebuild year with a depleted roster, I’m still very excited to see where we go in the years to come. Volleyball is heading to the NCAA tournament on Thursday with a matchup against Fairfield as a 3 seed and the Men’s basketball team just reached #1 in the AP poll on Monday. It’s a special time to be a Boilermaker fan and maybe Raven and Myles will get to be a part of some Purdue history. Regardless, you’ll see a familiar face in the stands cheering them on.