College Football: Indiana’s Tevin Coleman aiming for big 2014 season
By Andy Proffet For Sun-Times Media August 5, 2014 8:42PM
Indiana's Tevin Coleman (right), an Oak Forest High School grad. | Supplied photo
Updated: September 7, 2014 6:14AM
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Forty-two yards.
That’s how shy Tevin Coleman was last season in attempting to become the first 1,000-yard rusher at Indiana since Levron Williams in 2001.
Considering Coleman had 958 yards in nine games, he easily would have hit quadruple-digits in 2013 — save the ankle injury that sidelined him for the final three games.
At Indiana’s football media day Monday, the soft-spoken running back from Oak Forest said it hurt to come up short last year.
“I think about it a lot,” the junior said. “It’s a goal for me to do it.”
Given the Hoosiers’ lack of experience in the receiving corps, Coleman and his fellow backs could get more touches this fall.
Coleman’s 19 receptions last season make him Indiana’s second-leading returning receiver, behind senior wide receiver Shane Wynn. Coleman acknowledged Monday there’s a chance he’ll be used as a receiver more often in the fall.
It’s another tool to add to his skill set, one in which offensive coordinator Kevin Johns is confident.
“A lot of times, they say, the more you know, the more the game slows down for you. I think for Tevin, being his third year in this offense, I really expect his game to slow down, give him a chance to see how blitzes develop, and the zone running game and seeing how to play off (the offensive line’s) blocks,” Johns said.
“I think it’s time for him now to really separate himself and become an elite back in this country.”
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld already calls Coleman “one of the best, if not the best, running backs you’ll find out there.”
There’s no prima-donna attitude, either. Coleman credited Stephen Houston, whose starting job Coleman took last season, for his help.
And he’s following Houston’s example.
“I feel like a leader,” Coleman said. “The young RBs are following me. I’m just trying to do for them what Stephen did for me, teach them things that they didn’t know.”
Senior D’Angelo Roberts is second to Coleman on the depth chart, with several other underclassmen in the mix for playing time.
Coach Kevin Wilson likes the competition.
“I wouldn’t mind if somebody wanted to beat out Tevin Coleman, I’d be happy as can be with that because I think he’s a great player and someone else is doing pretty good,” Wilson said.
For now, though, the ball belongs to Coleman.