Deshler RB/DB has 7 offers, 4 visits set

<B>Duran Coger</b>, a 5-11, 180 two-way star from northern Alabama, could play running back, receiver or defensive back at the next level. The versatile Coger, who plans a January visit to Vanderbilt, gives an update on his scheduled visits and schools of choice.

When your high school team keeps advancing in the state playoffs all the way to the championship game, it can play havoc with a prospect's plans for official visits. That's the situation of Duran Coger, the 5-11, 180 two-way star for North Tuscumbia (Ala.) Deshler High School. Coger's season didn't end until Dec. 9, when the Tigers lost in the 4A state championship game (for the second straight year).

Coger, who starred at both running back and corner for Deshler, showed his versatility in the championship game by rushing for 125 yards on 16 carries, and bringing in two passes for 43 more yards. But most colleges see the speedy Coger as a defensive back, for which his recent post-season All-State honors came.

With seven offers on the table, Coger is planning to squeeze in at least four official visits prior to making his decision. "I'm going to Western Kentucky (Jan. 7), UAB (Jan. 14), Vanderbilt (Jan. 21) and North Alabama (Jan. 28)," he said. Other schools that have offered are Troy State, MTSU and Samford. All schools are equal at this point, he claims, and his visits will be the biggest determining factor.

"The schools that are most interested in me are the ones I'm interested in," Coger said. "I've seen some of the campuses, but I haven't really been around any of the players. I want to get to know some of the players and see how everything really goes."

Coger finished the 2004 season with over 1,400 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. As a running back, he says his best attribute was his ability to follow his blockers and read the holes. "When they tried to cut me down, I knew when to jump and get off of them," he said.

"I'm more of a speed back, but I can also say that, when somebody tries to tackle me, they better make sure they wrap me up."

Unlike a lot of high school ball-carriers, Coger likes playing defensive back and prefers to play there. Two schools, however, are considering him for positions on offense: Samford likes him as a running back, while Vanderbilt likes him as a receiver. "I think I'd rather play DB, because I like covering and tackling," he said.

A dark horse in the race could be North Alabama, a Division II program in nearby Florence which would allow Coger to play his college football close to home. Top Stories