Coleman Looks To Make Strides

Rodriguez Coleman arrived at KU this year with great potential after a standout career at Garden City (Kan.) Community College.

Rodriguez Coleman arrived at Kansas this year with great potential after a standout career at Garden City (Kan.) Community College.

A speed burner and big-play threat, Coleman grabbed 70 receptions for 1,055 yards and seven touchdowns last season while averaging 105.5 receiving yards per game and 15.1 yards per catch.

Now, the junior wide receiver is trying to make his mark at the major college level. Coleman, who entered the Baylor game on Saturday at Memorial Stadium with two starts and just three catches for 39 yards, had his best game as a Jayhawk against the Bears.

He caught two passes for 75 yards and one touchdown, a 30-yard completion in the fourth quarter from Jake Heaps. His other grab was a career-long 45-yarder from true freshman Montell Cozart in the third quarter, which help set up a 22-yard TD run by Brandon Bourbon that gave KU its first points of the game at the 4:51 mark after trailing BU 45-0.

While he was disappointed with the 59-14 loss to the No. 5 Bears, Coleman seemed pleased with his performance after trying to make his way into the mix this season.

"I kind of got off to a slow start (this year) so I felt like I was due for a good game," Coleman said. "Hopefully it will carry over into the next few games and I can put my team into the best position to win."

He was excited to catch KU's two longest pass plays of the game.

"He put it right into the basket," Coleman said about Cozart's 45-yard pass. "All I had to do was track the ball down and make a play. The ball was right there. That was a heck of a throw by Montell."

Coleman said Cozart played quite well in just his second game of his career. Cozart rushed eight times for 17 yards and completed 4-of-14 passes for 69 yards.

"The first half of the season, he really wasn't getting any reps at all (in practice). For this to be his second game, he really showed poise and confidence and made plays," Coleman said.

After catching the 45-yard pass in the third quarter, Coleman showed poise again with his first career TD reception with 11:14 remaining in the game.

"I was due for one, so I had to do what I had to do to make a play on the ball," Coleman said.

KU coach Charlie Weis was happy for Coleman's impressive night.

"It's been a long time coming for him to get into the mix here," Weis said. "We really need him to step up and get involved and it was really nice to see him step up and make (big plays)."

Coleman will continue working hard in practice in hopes of earning more playing time and help his Jayhawks win.

"I'm just going to go out there every day in practice and keep learning and keep putting stuff into my repertoire," he said.

While Coleman praised Baylor's defense, he knows the Jayhawks weren't very productive. KU managed just 16 first downs to BU's 31, 308 yards of total offense, while Heaps and Cozart only completed 11-of-33 passes for 154 yards.

"They had good schemes and good plays, but we just didn't go out there and play our best ball," Coleman said. "Hopefully, the next chance we get, we'll come out there and make plays (at Texas next Saturday).

"(We) just (got to) keep our poise and confidence and come out next week focused with a good week of practice," added Coleman, who was encouraged by KU's second-half effort when BU only outscored the Jayhawks 21-14.

Coleman, for one, is feeling quite confident after his breakout game against the Bears.

"Actually, it boosted me up a lot because I know I can make plays at this type of level now," he said. "I got my first NCAA touchdown, so hopefully I will keep rolling." Top Stories