Hailing from the same high school that brought the Irish Malik Zaire, incoming freshman Nick Coleman looks to infuse the same type of unlikely toughness to the secondary that Zaire brings to the quarterback position. The early Irish commitment will enter as a cornerback, though starred as an All-State running back at Alter.
A projection at the position though a capable athlete who should fit in nicely, the Irish staff took an early shot at Coleman when he was mostly garnering mid-level offers. But that three-star ranking disappears now that he’s on campus.
Let’s look closer at incoming freshman Nick Coleman.
6’0″, 180 lbs.
Freshman, No. 24, DB
An offer from Michigan State sticks out, but Coleman did most of his work in high school as a running back. The three-star prospect certainly shows better than average athleticism, but he was an early target, developmental-type of recruit that didn’t win many accolades from the recruiting services.
But Coleman was a first-team All-State running back, no small feat in the football crazy state. So while his transition to college will likely depend on how quickly he and Todd Lyght sync up, he’s the type of player that Kelly and his staff have done well developing.
Physicality is what sticks out for Coleman, and he’s got the length and strength that you want from a cornerback. He also looks like a versatile cover guy who can hold his own in the slot as well.
Again, there’s more projection than usual in this evaluation because most of the highlights you see from Coleman are him running away from defenders as a running back. That ability to be a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands should come in handy when it’s time to stop the guy with the football.
He might not be highly rated, but I love the type of football player Coleman was in high school. So while I could see him redshirting and saving a year of eligibility, I could also see him becoming a sponge and contributing in the secondary and on special teams this year.
If Drue Tranquill found a niche in this secondary as safety in sub-packages, it’s worth considering that Coleman could do something similar in a coverage capacity. While classmate Shaun Crawford looks the better bet for that assignment, Crawford’s an intriguing and versatile athlete worth keeping an eye on.
THE 2015 IRISH A-to-Z
Josh Adams, RB
Josh Barajas, OLB
Nicky Baratti, S
Alex Bars, OL
Asmar Bilal, OLB
Hunter Bivin, OL
Grant Blankenship, DE
Jonathan Bonner, DE
Miles Boykin, WR
Justin Brent, WR
Greg Bryant, RB
Devin Butler, CB
Jimmy Byrne, OL
Daniel Cage, DL
Amir Carlisle, RB