Young Defensive End Looks to Grow Into AU's System

Auburn football freshman Antonio Coleman discusses the advantages of getting an early start to college life.

Auburn, Ala.--Antonio Coleman says he knew when he arrived at Auburn earlier this summer, gaining weight was a major priority.

The talented defensive end from Williamson High in Mobile has made progress in his quest. "I weighed 222 when I got here and I am up to 233 now," he says. "I still plan to get bigger."

Coleman came to Auburn after competing in June's Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game in Mobile.

Antonio Coleman

"I have been taking classes and gotten adapted to waking up early in the morning and working out, running and conditioning," he says of his first months on campus. "It is going great."

Coleman notes there is no big secret to his weight gain. "Basically, I have been eating and working out," he says.

After Auburn signed the defensive end, who was also a standout in basketball, Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville noted that Coleman is a player who would be able to gain a significant amount of weight once he got into a college program.

Coleman says his decision to come to Auburn early is one he is glad he made. "I recommend doing it," he says. "If you get recruited, it is a good idea to do it. You can get some of your classes out of the way and earn some credits. You basically can get into the swing of things with what the upperclassmen are doing."

Coleman (left) played on the defensive front in the Alabama-Mississippi Football All-Star Game with his fellow AU freshman, Sen'Derrick Marks (right).

As a senior defensive end, he made 147 tackles with 23 sacks, even though some opponents attacked him with double-team blocks. Coleman says it is too early to know whether he will be a strongside or weakside end for the Tigers.

"Talking to Coach Price (defensive ends coach Terry Price), he told me that I will work at both sides because he said he is not sure where anybody is going to play," Coleman says." I am going to learn both positions."

Coleman says that while his summer in college has been very different than high school, he believes that he is adapting to the changes nicely. In the classroom, he plans to major in either criminology or business management. On the football field, he is trying to get ready physically to contribute as soon as possible.

"I am great shape," he says. "I have been working out with Coach Yox (Kevin Yoxall), as you know, that isn't easy to do. I think I am ready for two-a-days."

The Tigers began practice on Tuesday, but won't get into the two-a-days portion of drills until their second week on the practice field.

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