Playing defense for the University of Michigan Wolverines, he was a hard-hitting back who also handled punt returns. The Greensboro, NC, native was a two-time consensus All-American (1989, 1990) selection. Welborne recorded 238 tackles in his three years in the defensive secondary and returned 67 punts for 773 yards. During his senior year (1990), Welborne set a single-season record for punt return yardage with 455. Welborne moved from wide receiver to defensive back after his freshman year and intercepted nine passes during his career. He played on three Big Ten Conference championship teams (1988–90), and the Wolverines compiled a record of 36-11-1, with three top ten finishes during his career at Michigan. Welborne was also named All-Big Ten Conference in 1989 and 1990.