Coleman Keeps it Local With Cal

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By Jim McGill, Staff Writer
Posted Nov 29, 2012
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2014 BearInsider.com


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Joining Notre Dame (Sharman Oaks, CA)  running back Khalfani Muhammad, who committed to Cal Tuesday, the Bears garnered a second commitment this week in St. Mary's (Berkeley, CA) receiver/defensive back Caleb Coleman.

"I committed yesterday," said Coleman. "I talked to my parents and we decided Cal wouild be the best place for me.

"I've been going to Cal games since I could first walk. Growing up, that's what really got me into football in the first place -going out to Memorial Stadium on Saturdays. 

"That was my dream, to play Cal football. That was the team I followed. I always looked forward to being at Memorial on Saturdays.

"I'm just happy that it's finally coming through and my work is paying off."

Another source of inspiration for Coleman was one of Cal's brightest stars of the past decade, current Philadelphia Eagle and former Bear receiver DeSean Jackson.

"I met DeSean at Nations for the first time and I was just awestruck," said Coleman. "He was my idol and he took time to talk with me for like ten minutes.

"I'll never forget that day. That was huge for me to be able to meet someone I just wanted to emulate so bad.

"All the moves he did for Cal, I tried to put into my game.

"He told me to just play hard and to chase my dreams and with hard work, I could accomplish anything." 

"We're very proud for Caleb to have the opportunity to play for Cal," said Paul Coleman, Caleb's father. "He's been a long time fan growing up in the Berkeley area.

"He's really worked hard at preparing himself and knows he'll have to work even harder to get ready to get in there and play at the next level but he's looking forward to it and is up to the challenge. He'll be playing in the All-State game in Visalia in December, too."

With offers including Yale and Air Force Academy and a 3.8 gpa, academics are a high priority for Coleman and the Bears' proximity and Cal offered the perfect combination of Pac 12 football, hometown appeal and top academics for Coleman.

The speedy (4.48 forty) Coleman comes from an athletic family, with his grandfather a legendary track coach in the Laney College Hall of Fame who coached and trained Jim Hines for the '68 Olympics and father Paul a former collegiate baseball player at Central Michigan who also played the amateur golf circuit.

The 6-0/175 Coleman himself played multiple sports, running track and playing baseball and football as a frosh while continuing in track and football currently. Coleman was also a part of St. Mary's NCS champ 4x100 relay team as a soph. A hamstring injury prevented him from running much as a junior but he'll be back on the track this spring for the Panthers.

Football, howver, is Coleman top priority and he racked up 53 catches for 900 yards and eight touchdowns as a receiver and 46 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles as a safety.

Coleman camped at Cal last summer, where he received his offer from wide receivers coach Wes Chandler but he wanted to wait till after his season to make a measured decision where he'd play."

After breaking his arm at Nevada's full contact camp in the summer, Coleman came back his senior season to record 41 catches for 719 yard and nine touchdowns plus two more on returns for the Panthers this season while focusing primarily on offense while recuperating from the broken arm.

"The kid knows how to play with pain," said Coleman, Sr. "He can play through things a lot of guys can't. He didn't go out to early but he played through it and was able to avoid injuries this season.

"We had good doctors and trainers, working with Marshawn Lynch's former trainer, Jamal Liggins. He's training LeSean McCoy and a bunch of other college and pro guys down in LA right now.

"We'll be working on his lateral movement primarily this spring but Caleb win run this year and his goal is to get back to state again this year."

As a soph, Coleman ran a 10.88 100, so with hard work, his goal may be within reach.

Coleman is well aware that while his position coach is still at Cal, that may not be the case when a new head coach and staff is brought in but it's something he's prepared to deal with.

"Coach Chandler was a big reason why I wanted to commit to Cal," said Coleman. "He recruited me hard, calling me every week and checking up on me.

"He's already taught me so much at Cal camp and in our conversations. He's able to effortlessly translate his experience in the pros to teaching players and I really like him a lot.

"He told me he might not be back with the new staff and that would be tough because I have a lot of admiration for him but it's just something I'd have to deal with.

"This decision is about more than just a future position coach to me."

To view Colemans's junior highlights, use the embedded viewer below: 

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