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College Football: Health the key for Indiana’s Tevin Coleman

Indiana's TevColeman right runs for touchdown as Minnesota's Marcus Jones (15) watches during second half NCAA college football game BloomingtInd.

Indiana's Tevin Coleman, right, runs for a touchdown as Minnesota's Marcus Jones (15) watches during the second half of NCAA college football game in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Minnesota won 42-39. (AP Photo/Alan Petersime)

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Updated: May 28, 2014 6:39AM



BLOOMINGTON — Tevin Coleman’s return to the Memorial Stadium field didn’t produce a lot of numbers.

That was by design.

“It was a pretty easy day,” the Oak Forest product said after his three-carry, 61-yard rushing performance in a 24-14 win by Coleman’s Cream team in Indiana’s Cream and Crimson game April 12.

“(Coach Kevin Wilson) didn’t want me to get hurt or pull anything or strain anything,” Coleman said. “Just took it easy, had a couple of runs, did what I had to do and got out.

“It felt good to be out there.”

Coleman’s breakout season in the fall ended early. An ankle injury sidelined him for the final three games of IU’s season and left him with 958 yards rushing.

The Hoosiers haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2001. A healthy Coleman should break that in 2014.

The key is staying healthy. While Coleman likely will get the bulk of the carries in the fall, he also will probably be more of a factor in the passing game.

“Definitely going to have more of a role in the passing game this year,” he said. “Get out there with swings and burst routes and flat routes and sit routes. All the quarterbacks have to do is check it down to us, we’ll make the best of it.”

Coleman caught 19 passes for 193 yards in 2013, second among returning receivers to Shane Wynn.

Wilson knows Coleman can be a threat as a receiver.

“The more (Wynn) and Tevin can be a bigger part of the pass progression, the more the odds of success,” Wilson said. “Because if Shane’s (the No. 1 option) and Caleb Cornett’s two and Tevin’s three, two out of three can take it to the house.”

Wilson wasn’t concerned that Coleman needed more work this spring.

“It wasn’t to anoint him with, ‘You don’t need the work,’ ” he said. “It’s just risk and reward at the end of the day, because when he breaks into the field, he’s a fast big man running through there.

“If a guy’s decent, you don’t want to pamper him. You want to be smart.”

Coleman, who shared time with Stephen Houston in 2013, will have to share some carries with D’Angelo Roberts and others this season.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said he likes IU’s stable of running backs, and the short-yardage abilities of backs such as Andrew Wilson.

I think that’s going to be a new dimension for us this year,” he said. “We’ll be able to bring in two or three running backs at the goal line and pound it at you.”



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