Jaylen Coleman is a 6-0, 217-pound linebacker for Pittsburgh (PA) Peabody. He still plays both sides of the ball, but says this season, he prefers staying on the defensive side of the ball. That thinking may also be better for his future, in terms of getting looks as a linebacker.
"Linebacker, that's what all the colleges want me for," Coleman said. "I love the 4-3. I play in the middle. I love running sideline-to-sideline. It's so much fun."
Coleman, a 3.2 student, says he has heard from schools such as Pitt, Nebraska, Akron and Wisconsin. He was at Pitt's game on Saturday, and likes what he sees of the Panthers. He is close with two of the Pitt freshmen; receiver Drew Carswell and defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who is already in the defensive line rotation as a true freshman.
"It feels like home, the interest level is great," Coleman said of Pitt. "Donald, he was talking to me after the game, saying, 'We need you to come to Pitt, we'll get you right.'"
Coleman was encouraged by Pitt's performance, as well.
"I didn't want to leave my seat, until I got hungry," Coleman added. "The running game, Ray graham, that boy is a beast. I'm kind of mad that Dan Mason got injured. He's my friend too, from Penn Hills. Other than that, the linebackers are looking good.
"Hopefully, I can get more recruited. Hopefully, I'll get offered from them. I like Pitt. Actually, I love Pitt. I have Pitt all over my wall in my room; posters. I really like them."
Getting an offer from the Panthers may become a reality. Since Coleman is a 2012 prospect, he can't get an official written offer until August 1, but for now, he leaves the recruiting to his coaches.
"My coach talked to (running backs coach) David Walker," Coleman said. "He's the city league coach. I have to ask my coach to talk to him, I don't know the regulations.
"Pitt, though, they constantly send me letters; always send letters. I got a letter from the linebacker coach (Bernard Clark), saying he was happy to invite me to the (Florida International) game. Hopefully, they will invite me to the West Virginia game. That's the one I want to see. They're going to be wearing the Nike combat uniforms, so hopefully I have a chance to be there when they wear them."
Coleman estimates he has 30 tackles on the season, including 10 in a game earlier this season against Perry.