There are sevearl reasons Kurt Coleman is considered one of the top defensive backs, not only in Ohio, but in the entire nation. Whether it's the versatility he shows in man coverage on the corner, his ability to read and react in run support from the safety spot, or his knowledge of the gamet, Coleman is about to make one school very happy.
"I would like to have my decision made within the next two weeks," Coleman said. "I'm at the point where I'm nearly ready to make it, but I still need to speak with my father and get a few issues ironed out. I had hoped to visit Tennessee before making my decision, but with my hectic schedule, that is no longer likely to happen which hurts their chances. I want to get the decision out of the way so I can fully concentrate on my senior season and help our team (Northmont High in Clayton, Ohio) win it all."
Coleman recently took unofficial visits to all three schools beginning with Kansas State on June 7th.
"I really liked the atmosphere in Manhattan, as it is a smaller campus, but still big enough to allow me to live my own life. Every facility I saw was new or pretty new and they were even renovating the coach's offices. Everything looked pretty cool. Coach (Bob) Elliot really expressed to me how badly he'd like me a part of their program and told me I'd be a key piece to their defense with my abilities at free safety, and what I would allow them to do." Coleman said.
"My teammate, Rommaun Grigsby plays there and all the players are really down-to-earth. He told me that Coach Elliot is a guy that will care for you and is real with you, but won't be afraid to get after you if you mess up. He also said Coach (Bill) Synder is a work-a-holic, which wasn't hard to see in meeting him. They are dedicated to getting things turned around there."
Coleman stepped foot in Iowa City knowing he had a strong interest in the Hawkeye program, but walked away with an even greater interest in Iowa City, itself.
"I thought Iowa would be out in the middle of nowhere, but there is plenty to do out and it's a safe place," added Coleman, who is being recruited as a cornerback by Iowa and Ohio State. "It is a warm place to live, as you see a place like Columbus that has some bad spots, and Iowa City really just gives you great comfort."
Coleman was delighted with the conversations he shared with Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz and his potential future position coach Phil Parker, and also was encouraged from what he heard from Hawkeye recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson.
"He told me how great it has been for him to move to Iowa City, and that there is no better coach he has ever worked for or could imagine working for than Kirk Ferentz. I got a great feeling from Iowa, I like my position my coach, and I feel they could fit my academic needs," stated Coleman.
As far as Ohio State goes, it's no surprise that they are considered a favorite to land his services, but Coleman says nothing is a lock.
"I didn't even grow up a fan of Ohio State," Coleman said. "I was actually a fan of the Miami Hurricanes. My brother and sister did attend Ohio State, though, and the school easily fits all my academic needs. They sent me something showing how many defensive backs they've put in the NFL the past five or six years, and it's quite a number."
"Coach (Jim) Tressel is very similar to Coach Ferentz in the fact they both stress academics first, getting your degree second, and then making it to the NFL lastly. Coach Tressel told me if Ohio State isn't where I picture myself being at then I need to go elsewhere."
"He is a man of values, and he actually has 40 cards of values he always holds with him. He told me to choose five of those, and I can remember four of the five I got, which were family, academics, integrity, and love. He told me to base my decision on those values, and that was advice that I greatly appreciated," said Coleman.
Coleman reiterated that he is getting closer to his decision, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. Therefore, I asked him to give the selling point of each school.
"Kansas State says the Class of 2006 is what will help take their program back to the elite level they were at, and my abilities at free safety would be a huge part with how I can play the whole field. Iowa told me I can come in and play right away; it won't be easy, but I'm not the type of kid to shy away from challenge. The Hawkeyes do what it takes to win games, and send people to the next level. Ohio State told me I'm the man they want at cornerback and with hard work I'll have a chance to play early, too," said Coleman.
It'll be interesting to see how this finishes out, but it will likely be hard for Iowa or Kansas State to squeeze past the Buckeyes.