Notre Dame commit recap: Nick Coleman capitalizing on his chances

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Nick Coleman may not have many games left as a running back, but the Notre Dame commit is making them count.

Coleman, a cornerback recruit for the Irish, needed just 13 carries Friday to rush for 167 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-0 victory for Kettering (Ohio) Alter over Archbishop McNicholas. His big day came just one week after a 288-yard, five-touchdown performance against Badin.

Playing in the same offense that once featured current Irish sophomore quarterback Malik Zaire, Coleman has emerged as another threat for the undefeated Knights. But why the recent success?

“You know I'm going to say my offensive line first and foremost,” Coleman said. “They're playing well. We're all coming together. Our quarterback play has been well. It's a little of the defenses keying on him (Dusty Hayes) and the offensive line just blocking for me.”

The offense features a mix of shotgun spread and traditional wishbone formations. It doesn’t rely on Coleman to be a workhorse but often leads to big-play opportunities. Coleman capitalized with touchdown runs of 67, 65, 62 and 52 yards in the last two games.

The Knights (9-0) also ask Coleman to play cornerback. It can be tough for the 6-foot, 170-pounder to focus on both sides of the ball.

“The defensive coaches make sure that I get some time every day working on playing cornerback too,” Coleman said. “It's a little rough, but I'm just trying to win a state title. So whatever it takes, I'm doing that. It's not too bad.”

Coleman might not get enough time to devote to the position he’ll be asked to play in South Bend, but he makes sure to keep his coverage skills sharp.

“I would like a little more practice, but I get enough every day,” Coleman said.

He will have plenty of time to catch up when he joins Notre Dame next year. He’s been closely watching the program he verbally committed to back in June.

Coleman visited Notre Dame for its games against Michigan and Stanford and made the trip to Indianapolis for the Shamrock Series game with Purdue. He was glued to the TV during Saturday’s loss at Florida State.

"It's been fun. They've been playing their butts off,” Coleman said. “In my eyes, they had the game won on Saturday. I get angry talking about it. Defensively, I don't think people give them enough credit."

The final games of Coleman’s senior season might be his last chance to carry the football as a running back. But the end of the season could be far away. The Knights are primed for a deep postseason run in Ohio’s Division IV. The blowout win over McNicholas, which entered the game at 7-0, should be another positive sign.

Coleman admits that he’ll miss being able to play running back once he leaves Alter, but the chance to play cornerback at Notre Dame will trump that.

“The running back is the all-star position at my school,” Coleman said. “It’s kind of cool playing that. Corner is my love though.”

He will just have to force some turnovers for the Irish defense to get his hands on the ball.

"I'll find some ways,” Coleman said.

Seventeen other recruits with verbal commitments to Notre Dame played games in the past week. Here’s a recap of how they fared:

S Prentice McKinney: South Oak Cliff 36, Kimball 14. McKinney made plays all over the field for South Oak Cliff’s defense, including two interceptions. McKinney also recorded 10 tackles and two pass breakups for SOC (4-3).

RB Josh Adams: Central Bucks South 28, Pennridge 21. With his team trailing 21-14 at halftime, Adams delivered the points needed in the second half for the win. His one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter tied the game, and 40-yard run in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winning score. Adams rushed 26 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns for the Titans (7-1).

QB Brandon Wimbush: St. Peter’s Prep 49, Bayonne 0. Wimbush accounted for four touchdowns in the win. He completed 12 of his 14 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Wimbush also scored on a 15-yard touchdown run for the Marauders (5-1).

CB Shaun Crawford: St. Edward 35, Eastern Christian (Md.) Academy 6. Crawford chipped in on both sides of the ball in the win. He intercepted two passes, broke up another and recorded 10 tackles on defense. He also caught five passes for 70 yards for the Eagles (6-2).

OL Trevor Ruhland: Cary-Grove 56, Dundee-Crown 0. Ruhland and the Cary-Grove offensive line paved a path for 350 rushing yards. Ruhland also recorded four tackles for loss on defense for the Trojans (8-0).

WR Miles Boykin: Providence Catholic 45, Brother Rice 42. Boykin caught another touchdown pass, and Providence (7-1) won another game. He hauled in eight passes for 116 yards and a 41-yard touchdown, his 17th of the season.

LB Josh Barajas: Andrean 26, Lowell 14. Barajas and the Andrean defense kept Lowell, which had scored 202 points in its previous five games, in check. The 59ers (9-0) extended their winning streak to 24 games.

OL Jerry Tillery: Evangel Christian 10, North Webster 6. Tillery’s presence on the offensive and defensive lines helped Evangel (4-3) take the driver’s seat for a district title. All 16 points by both teams were scored in the first quarter of a hard-hitting game.

S Nicco Fertitta: Bishop Gorman 70, Legacy 13. Fertitta tallied three tackles in the first quarter of another blowout. The Gaels (9-0) remain USA Today’s No. 1 team in the country.

OL Tristen Hoge: Highland 24, Hillcrest 7. Hoge helped clear the way for more than 300 yards for the Highland offense. The Rams (7-0) are one win away from a perfect regular season.

OL Tommy Kraemer: Cincinnati Elder 28, Winton Woods 21. Kraemer and his linemates aided an Elder offense that racked up 366 yards. Elder (5-3) won the game on a nine-yard touchdown pass with 4:54 left in the game.

LB Asmar Bilal: Ben Davis 49, North Central 0. Bilal and the Ben Davis defense recorded a shutout in his first game as an Irish commit. The Giants (7-2) open Indiana's Class 6-A sectionals against Pike (4-5) on Friday.

WR C.J. Sanders: Crespi 56, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 21. Sanders returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, but Notre Dame (5-2) fell short against its rival. Sanders had zero receiving yards with four-star safety Marvell Tell helping in coverage for Crespi.

DL Micah Dew-Treadway: Lincoln-Way East 23, Bolingbrook 9. Dew-Treadway totaled five tackles, three quarterback hurries and two deflections in the loss. He also caught a pass for a first down for the Raiders (5-3).

DT Elijah Taylor: St. Ignatius 34, Cincinnati Moeller 20. Taylor tallied nine tackles and a sack in the loss. Moeller (6-2) allowed more than 17 points for just the second time all season.

DT Brandon Tiassum: Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter 54, Park Tudor 34. Tiassum saw plenty of action with nine tackles and a sack, but Park Tudor (1-8) finished the regular season with another loss.

CB Ashton White: DeMatha 70, Bishop McNamara 32. White made five tackles in a blowout loss for Bishop McNamara (2-5). 

*Stats reported were provided by the players or the following news organizations: MaxPreps, Dallas Morning News, The Shreveport (La.) Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Joliet (Ill.) Herald-News, Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger.

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Kathy Blevins (left) and Deb Schaffer stand at the tip of the leprechaun's fist as fans start finding there seats Lucas Oil Stadium for Notre Dame's Shamrock Series game against Purdue. (SBT Photo/SANTIAGO FLORES)