Jim Hawkins, Inside Carolina

Verbal View: Analysis of the Commitment of Marcus Coleman to West Virginia

West Virginia grabbed an important piece of its 2017 recruiting puzzle when defensive lineman Marcus Coleman committed to the Mountaineers. What does the Maryland native bring to the WVU program?


Marcus Coleman is versatile. The 6-5, 280-plus pound defensive lineman believes he can be a factor anywhere along the defensive front. 

"I don't really have a preference," he said of his collegiate position. I can play end or tackle or on the nose. I just feel like I can make plays wherever I wind up."

That sort of outlook bodes well for the Mountaineers, who will need to reload up front in this year's recruiting class. Coleman has excellent quickness and burst off the ball, which will help him a great deal against bigger foes. Combined with his already excellent size (6-5, 285 lbs.), this could make him a force on the defensive front. WVU has long fought to find enough players with this combination of size and quickness, and his addition is an important one in the class. He's also squarely committed to WVU.

"I like everything that I was able to see so far, and I'm committed," he said of potential additional recruiting activity. "I liked the coaching I got there at the camp, and the players that I know that have gone to WVU all liked it there. I went to elementary school with Marcus Simms, and he's been talking to me about coming there."

Coleman also continues West Virginia's recruiting ties in the Baltimore area, where it has found a great deal of talent over the past several years. 


Coleman is viewed as an interior defensive line prospect by Scout.com recruiting analyst Brian Dohn, who noted that he does need to improve his flexibility somewhat. At six feet five inches, getting and staying low is a challenge, and one that is important for defensive linemen. Coleman's ability to run, however, shows that he does have good range of motion in his hips, so this is something that shouldn't be a major issue with time in the strength and conditioning program


Coleman also relies on his quickness in the pass rush, and will need to work to develop more moves, including techniques to break contact, against what will be tougher blocking opposition in the Big 12. However, he claerly has the building blocks to do so, and could be the interior pass rusher that West Virginia needs.


Defensive line recruits of this size? What's not to like? WVU has had to develop undersized interior linemen and pass rushers from undersized edge players to fit and fill its defensive line needs, so getting a player like Coleman, who has all of the physical requirements in place, is a great boost. Commitments like this could snowball - with one big body in the fold, might another or two follow once Coleman begins selling the merits of the West Virginia program?

This commitment also serves to relieve some of the pressure on getting defensive linemen in general. That's a question that routinely hangs over the Mountaineer program, so getting one on board should help alleviate any of those concerns on the recruiting trail.

"Playing in the Big 12, that's a big conference," Coleman said. "The coaching there, they have shown that if you follow through, they can get you to the NFL."

West Virginia 2017 Football Commitment List

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