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With 4 days until Virginia Tech faces Alabama in the Georgia Dome, we turn our attention to no. 4 on roster Mr. J.C. Coleman. Last season, Coleman added a spark to Virginia Tech’s running game but at his current size, he just wasn’t enough to overcome terrible blocking, poor wide receiver play, and lackluster play calling. With a year under his belt, Coleman has a chance to be a weapon for Virginia Tech this fall. Although he’ll have to carry the load early on in the season while Trey Edmunds gets his feet underneath him, Coleman should slowly develop into a dual-threat player. I would expect to see the Oscar Smith grad split outwide several times a game and used on multiple end-arounds this season. Scot Loeffler will likely do everything he can to get Coleman on the outside in one-on-one situations with the defense. That’s where he is most successful.
Weight: 192 lbs
Position: Running Back
High School: Oscar Smith High School
Location: Chesapeake, VA
High School Career
Coleman missed three games during his senior season yet he still piled up 1488 yards and 20 touchdowns. That’s impressive since Coleman plays in one of the toughest districts in the state of Virginia. His junior season though is what led to his impressive offer list. He fan for 1402 yards and 21 touchdowns that year.
For awhile, UVA was considered the favorite for Coleman but the young man shocked the world when he committed to Virginia Tech during the Hokies spring game. Coleman held offers from Tech, West Virginia, UVA, Maryland, Duke, Vandy, ODU, and FIU.
Reasons For Excitement
Playmaking Ability: As it stands, Coleman is the Hokies best playmakers. Think about it, who else on offense can take a three yard carry and turn it into an 80 yard touchdown? Logan Thomas can but only when he can run in a straight line and just use his long strides to get there. Demitri Knowles has that ability but he hasn’t quite been able to do that on his own yet. If the Hokies are going to have any explosive plays, Coleman will be involved in them in some way, shape, or form.
Versatility: His size does make him a tough target to hit in the passing game but Coleman is the type of player you can split outwide when needed. He’s similar to Percy Harvin with his versatility. Whether or not he can deliver at the same level as Harvin did for the Gators a few years back remains to be seen.
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Causes For Concern
Can He Be A 20 Carry Back?: I think that’s the real question as the season looms. A lot of Tech fans are expecting Edmunds to develop into our workhorse with Coleman being a guy we spell him with and move around in various roles. However, early on in the season, I actually see those roles being reversed. I see the coaches using Coleman more until Edmunds gets his feet wet. So, can Coleman be a 20 carry a game guy and still be effective? That’s a good question.
What to Expect in 2013
Something better than last year. I think that’s what VT fans should expect. We’re not going to fix this thing overnight but improvement is necessary if Tech wants to win more than 7 games again in 2013. Coleman is crucial to our success this year and I’m expecting at least 700 yards out of him this season. I think that would be a positive step forward since he is, after all, still a true sophomore.
I think after the first three weeks, Tech fans will know what we have in our running game. I don’t want to base everything on Alabama because they’re the best team we’ll face all season. They might be the best team Coleman faces in his entire career, honestly. Also, I don’t want to base everything on Western Carolina because of the talent differential. But, after ECU, we should know whether Edmunds and Coleman will give Tech a better ground game than what we had last year with Coleman, Holmes, and Tony Gregory.
I’m not expecting the world out of Coleman yet but I would like to see steady improvement out of him this fall. I think 700 yards rushing and maybe 200 yards receiving wouldn’t be a bad goal for the sophomore. If he can top that then the Hokies might have just enough to return to Charlotte as the king of the Coastal Division.
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