Coleman Hoping for Return Visit to NFL Draft

Auburn offensive tackle Shon Coleman talks about his visit to the Big Apple to promote St. Jude Children's Hospital and be a part of the NFL Draft.

New York, N.Y.--Cancer survivor Shon Coleman got the opportunity to give back to the organization that saved his life and have a lot of fun in the process with a trip to New York City for the National Football League Draft.

The Auburn redshirt sophomore offensive tackle was asked to represent St. Jude Children's Hospital by announcing a pick in the first round of the NFL Draft and he was excited to do it as well as be featured in a video promoting the services the hospital offers.

"It's something that they (St. Jude) wanted me to do, get my story out there and inspire a lot of people," said Coleman. "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them so just doing things for others is always a great gift for me."

A high school All-American at Olive Branch, Miss., High, just south of Memphis, he benefitted from a new treatment developed by St. Jude. Previously, patients with his form of cancer had a high mortality rate.

After signing with the Tigers in February of 2010 he found out that he had cancer. After successful treatment he was able to return to Auburn and play football on a limited basis in 2012 during practices. He received two years of medical redshirts and will competed as a sophomore this season after performing well in a reserve role last year at left tackle and tight end.

Coleman said he appreciates the support he has received from St. Jude as well as his teammates, coaches and from Auburn fans. "They have been a big part--praying for me and supporting me," he said of Auburn's fan base. "They have really helped me get through and get to where I?am right now."

Asked about his trip to the draft, Coleman said, "It was crazy man, just to be able to have the opportunity to go out there and announce a pick in front of all of those people. It was a crazy, crazy experience."

The man he may replace in the starting lineup, Greg Robinson, was chosen as the second pick in the draft by the St. Louis Rams. Another teammate, Dee Ford, was selected 23rd overall by Kansas City.

Coleman said the trip to New York with his mother, DeKeishia Coleman, has been a good experience. "Like I said, it's been crazy. Just getting in the sightseeing, hanging around a lot of cool people, meeting people, seeing Greg and the guys get drafted... I'm proud of him. I'm so happy for him."

Coleman made his college debut last September as the Tigers put together an SEC Championship season.

Auburn head coach, Gus Malzahn, joined Coleman in New York for the draft. "For Shon Coleman to announce a first round pick, I am really excited for him," Malzahn said. "I know it is his goal to try to be back here some day."

The offensive tackle said Malzahn is correct. "It's my ultimate goal and I've been working on it in the off-season since I was little, working on it every day, working harder," he said of one day playing in the NFL. "Hopefully, I'll get the opportunity to be here again."

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