Matt Colburn’s dream is to play in the NFL.
If that doesn’t work out, a career in music might be a good option for the former Dutch Fork standout. The Wake Forest junior running back has released a couple of singles on iTunes, SoundCloud and Spotify in the past few months.
“If music gets into the right hands, there is so much potential and so many stories from people in the mainstream industry that had nothing and chased music because it was a passion and hobby of theirs,” Colburn said. “It is definitely a passion of mine, and I don’t see me stop making it. I love singing so we will see what happens.
“First, my goal is to graduate, and then my biggest dream is the NFL. I’m chasing that 100 miles an hour. Music is something I will chase on the side, and if it takes me somewhere, then that it is God’s plan.”
Colburn had a big sophomore season in helping the Demon Deacons to a 7-6 record and a win over No. 24 Temple in the Pinstripe Bowl. It was Wake’s first bowl victory since 2008 and first win over a ranked team since 2011.
Colburn finished with 616 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He led the team with 48 yards and a TD in Wake’s spring game this past month and hopes for a 1,000-yard season this year.
Away from the field, Colburn, who goes by the singing name Jay Burn (Jay is his middle name), released “Sad Truth” two months ago and followed that up with “No Pressure.” He has gotten great feedback from people on the internet and teammates at Wake Forest.
Colburn’s music has been played during Wake Forest’s practices, and he said the recruiting team might use his music for hype videos.
Colburn performed one of his songs on stage at a party for the spring game.
“It was crazy, everybody was singing my song and it was kind of surreal feeling,” Colburn said. “People were making videos and putting on Snapchat and stuff. Now, people back home are asking if this is me and stuff. It’s been pretty cool to see all that is going on.”
Colburn hopes to have a mixtape of six songs or so out this summer or in the fall.
Colburn said music lets him show his creative side and it is the perfect outlet for him when he wants to get away from football . Singing is something he has done since he was a child.
Colburn’s mom remembers him singing on road trips as early as two years old. She got him into chorus, and he was in the District Five honor choir from fourth through sixth grade.
Colburn stopped singing with the school around eighth grade because he didn’t like the whole “music structure” thing and wanted to do what his voice was feeling.
So, Colburn teamed up with Millz Davis, one of his classmates at Dutch Fork and started recording music. Davis lived near Colburn and started laying down tracks when he was young. He turned his closet into a makeshift recording studio.
Since then, Davis has room behind his house he uses for recording for guys like Colburn and other people in Columbia and the Southeast.
Colburn has another producer, Nick Gerace, he works with at Wake Forest. Gerace is a DJ at basketball games and turned his dorm room in a studio.
Colburn patterns his style a little after The Weeknd, who he saw in concert last week in Charlotte. Colburn’s music genre is R&B, and he writes his own music.
Colburn’s songs come from life experiences and past relationships. He said a possible song in the future might be from his recruiting ordeal when he was a senior at Dutch Fork.
Colburn originally committed to Louisville, but coach Bobby Petrino pulled his scholarship at the last minute.
“Music and football definitely have their highs and lows,” Colburn said. “You could spend hours practicing football and have a bad practice. Or you can spend hours in studio and don’t like how this is going. Both are good avenues for me to express myself. I’m blessed to be at a university like Wake Forest and play football. I’m also blessed to have people like Millz and Nick to help me be creative and produce this music. It’s a blessing.”
Matt Colburn bio
Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 200
Position: Running back
College: Wake Forest
High school: Dutch Fork
Of note: S.C. Mr. Football in 2014 and led Dutch Fork to state title in 2013. Has rushed for 865 yards in 217 carries at Wake.