Film Study: Notre Dame CB commit Nick Coleman

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

CB commit Nick Coleman, 6-0, 170, Kettering (Ohio) Alter

The numbers: Coleman recorded 48 tackles and three interceptions at cornerback as a senior. He also racked up 1,125 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns as a running back. Alter (14-1) lost its only game of the season in the OHSAA Division IV state championship.

The rankings: Rivals – Three stars, No. 61 CB. 247Sports – Three stars, No. 66 CB.

FILM BREAKDOWN

First impression: Coleman is a long-limbed athlete with experience playing on both sides of the ball. The three-star prospect is projected to play cornerback at Notre Dame, a position where he has shown quickness and toughness. Irish cornerback KeiVarae Russell, who also played running back in high school, could be the blueprint Coleman is asked to mimic.

Strengths: Coleman has good size for a cornerback prospect. He displays quick feet and long strides which allow him to keep pace with opposing wide receivers. He has above-average speed and closes on the ball quickly. Coleman is a sure tackler who isn’t afraid to come up and make a play against the run or a short screen. Coleman could probably play running back at the college level if needed. He runs with excellent vision and seems to always be looking for a cutback lane. His speed made him a constant home run threat out of the backfield.

He did what? (1:56) Coleman shows his shiftiness and strength on a short run. He ducks through a hole and is greeted by a safety. He cuts right to get an outside angle and stiff-arms the defender to the ground when he tries to make the tackle … (2:25) Coleman takes an option pitch to the right side and is set up with three blockers for the three defenders ahead of him. Coleman displays patience and cuts right to help one blocker gain leverage on his man. Coleman cuts back against the grain and finds the end zone … (3:36) Coleman reads screen right away and attacks his wide receiver. He arrives to the ball so fast that the offensive tackle can only get a piece of him. Coleman fights through the block and brings down the ball carrier.

Competition level: Alter plays in one of the smaller classifications in the talent-rich state of Ohio. The Knights rolled through a schedule littered with inferior teams but matched up well against worthy competition in the state playoffs. The only loss came to Cleveland Benedictine and Ohio State linebacker commit Jerome Baker. Alter also produced Notre Dame sophomore quarterback Malik Zaire.

Left to prove: Coleman is rarely challenged at the cornerback position in his film. He will be tasked with playing against wide receivers taller and faster than him in college. Owning his technique as a full-time cornerback will be the first objective for Coleman. Can he make plays on jump balls? That remains to be seen. Coleman has the frame of a shutdown cornerback if he can develop more strength in his upper body. His arm length should allow him to excel in jamming wide receivers at the line of scrimmage.

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

Notre Dame commit Nick Coleman (right) played a lot of running back at Kettering (Ohio) Alter High School but is projected to play cornerback for the Irish. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)