Chris Helbig is a quarterback at heart.
His video game-like numbers at Holy Family High School, where he threw for 6,634 yards and 72 touchdowns over his final two seasons, should have opened a lot of collegiate doors on the gridiron, but he originally committed to Colorado Christian to play basketball.
The allure of playing football remained strong, however, so Helbig decommitted to CCU and opted to take his chances at the University of Colorado as a preferred walk-on.
"I went to coach (Mike) MacIntyre and asked for a chance to compete," Helbig said. "And it just didn't work out."
Very early in spring ball, Helbig was moved to safety —something he was open to — but deep down he knew what he really wanted to do.
So, he hit the reset button.
After one of his CU teammates found out he was moving on from the Buffs, he gave Helbig a heads up about Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas and he reached out to coach Tim Schaffner.
Helbig has been in Kansas for the past few weeks, enrolled in school with a heavy course load this semester and will be ready to compete for a starting spot with the Grizzlies when spring ball starts up.
"I'm excited about the opportunity," he said.
Helbig said he entered the whole collegiate process with the knowledge that it was going to be a five year excursion, and that he was going to do whatever it took to have a chance.
Helbig plans on being at Butler for just one season, graduating in December, and will compete for a chance at not only the starting job but also for the opportunity to put together some film that coaches can get a good look at.
"If there is one thing I have learned over the past few years, it's that I need to let the coaches chase me," he said, "Instead of me chasing the coaches."
In the meantime, he is adjusting to life away from home, saying, "I'm not exactly right down the street anymore," and grinding away to extend a playing career.
He is in the heart of Big 12 country and hopes to follow in the footsteps of some notable players that have come through Butler and gone on to not just Division I programs, but eventually to the National Football League. Current notable NFL players include Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawerence and Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
"I've just got to keep working hard," Helbig said.