Coates Ready For Next Level

PITTSBURGH -- There aren't too many colleges who know about Ursuline (Ohio) High School's Harold Coates, but it's a good bet that number will increase exponentially in the next few months.

Coates, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman, will be a senior this fall at the Youngstown-based school. But he just started attending area combines and had a stellar performance in his recent debut in Cleveland. He matched that effort at's event at the UPMC Sports Complex Sunday.

"This is my first year at the combines, but I just wanted to get my name out there some more,'' Coates said. "I wanted to repeat what I did at Cleveland, going hard in everything that I do. I really don't think I have to prove myself, but I want to show people what I can do. So, this is a good place for it.

"Every time I show up at one of these things I have a chance to get better and better. I practice really hard, and I want to give 100 percent every time. That's the best way for me to improve. So, that's what I have to do. This is what I need to do to get a scholarship and go to college.''

Coates has received some attention from various colleges, but he only has offers from Marshall, Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina State. The University of Pittsburgh and Penn State have not yet offered him a scholarship, but the two top Pennsylvania schools are certain to do that sometime soon.

"I'd like to hear from them,'' Coates said. "That's for sure. I'd also like to visit all of the schools just to see how they are. I need to do that, The more information I get can only help me make my decision in the end. I've already been to Pitt for unofficial visits, and it was nice.

"I've already been to Penn State for an unofficial visit, too, and I'll be at Penn State for the Nike camp. I'm definitely looking forward to that. It's just another chance to show myself, to show what I can do. That's all I can do for now, and after that I think the offers will come to me.''

Coates has a connection to Penn State, as former Ursuline quarterback Daryll Clark is a backup signal-caller for the Nittany Lions.

"It's nice to know somebody up there,'' Coates said. "We always talk about college. He's been a big help to me so far during the recruiting process. The decision is up to me, but my family and friends are behind me all the way.''

While Coates could be a little leaner, he still moves well. That was evident during the agility drills and the one-on-one matchups. He has played on both the offensive and defensive lines in high school, and he certainly could play either at the next level.

"I think I'm pretty athletic for a big guy,'' Coates said. "I've been able to dominate on both sides of the ball, but I think I'm a little more comfortable on defense. And I'm a little better on defense, too, but I had a highlight that was only on offense. It's the only one that I had.

"So, I guess that I have to prove myself on defense. That's why I try to come hard on every snap, every one on offense and every one on defense. If I can do that, things will start happening for me. I know they will, but I just have to be patient. And things will start to go my way.''

And that's more likely to happen sooner than later.

Panther More Top Stories