Coach Spotlight: Justin Coleman

Out of a coastal city in Southeast Georgia nicknamed 'the shrimp capital of the world', Brunswick High School's Justin Coleman is one of six early enrollees for Tennessee's 2011 recruiting class. A three-year starter for the Pirates, Head Coach Victor Floyd said Coleman is "the hardest worker" he's ever coached.

"Justin's been a model student here at Brunswick," said Floyd. "As a player he's extremely skilled athletically. We used him everywhere. He played running back, wide receiver and kick returner gaining over 2,000 all-purpose yards in his senior season and 22 touchdowns. On defense we thought it best to have him at free safety and situationally at cornerback. He'll be a cornerback at the next level."

On defense, Coleman had 92 tackles and five interceptions. To emphasize his versatility, in a game against rival Glynn Academy, Coleman retuned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 10 yard run, and had two fumble recoveries on defense.

"Just the whole mental aspect of the game came together for Justin," said Floyd. "At 5-11, 180, he's very physical and has tremendous strength. In the weight room he power lifts 300 and benches 315. If he'd have stayed through the spring he'd have been the top hurdler in the state."

In track as a junior, Coleman was second in the state (4A) in the 300 meter hurdles and 5th in the 110 meter hurdles. Floyd wasn't sure if Coleman would continue his track career at UT, but he is very excited about his future in football.

"He's a lock down corner," said Floyd. "He can play bump and run coverage, bends well in the hips, recovers well with his great athletic ability, and is highly competitive."

Coleman chose Tennessee in July over scholarship offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, South Florida, and West Virginia.

"I think Justin felt at home in Knoxville," said Floyd on his commitment to Tennessee. "He liked the new staff and the direction they had for the program. He liked the fact they were playing a lot of new guys this year. They started coming together late in the season and finished pretty well. Justin was ready to go up there and help build on that success."

The Brunswick Pirates had a successful year themselves in 2010. They finished 8-4 making it to the second round of the 4A playoffs losing to state runner-up, Starr's Mill. Coleman was named 4A All-State for the second year in a row, Player of the Year in his region, South Georgia Defensive Player of the Year, and was a participant in the GACA North-South All-Star game.

"Justin's just a quality all-around kid," Floyd said. "Strong academics, great player, and a good kid. He's the epitome of the ideal student-athlete."

Justin Coleman wore No. 6 for his high school and graduated with a 3.2 GPA.

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