Freshman Tevin Coleman leads the group with 134 yards off 21 carries, which is an average of 6.4 yards per carry.
One of the main reasons why the Tinley Park, Ill., native said he chose IU instead of many other programs was because he wanted a team where he could start “right out of the gate.”
“I chose IU because of playing time,” Coleman said. “I would have an early chance to play, and obviously I am.”
According to rivals.com, he was a three-star recruit and the No. 37-ranked running back of the 2012 class. He was also the 12th ranked player in the state of Illinois.
Other schools that offered him scholarships include Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue, Syracuse and West Virginia.
Coleman’s goal was to play running back in college, but he previously spent time playing wide receiver, cornerback and kick and punt returner at Oak Forest
He also competed in track and field during high school.
At the 2011 Illinois Class 2A track meet, he finished fourth in the 100-meter event with a time of 10.86 seconds.
When sophomore running back D’Angelo Roberts was asked about who was the fastest of the running backs, he responded quickly by saying, “Tevin, by far.”
Coleman said he attributes his success to his quickness.
“Speed helps me a lot because I can break arm tackles, and I can just run right past them,” he said.
IU coaches said Coleman’s speed was not the only top skill they’ve noticed.
“What I’ve seen is a guy who potentially could be a complete package guy, as far as speed, receiving, and a big-body guy who will run through you,” running backs Coach Deland McCullough said.
McCullough said Coleman has made major improvements since the first practices.
“The biggest thing is getting used to running our type of offense,” McCullough said. “He was a veer-type back in high school that ran outside sweeps. We are getting him to be more like an inside banger and finish plays down field.”
McCullough said each of the Hoosier running backs brings something different to the field.
“(Junior) Stephen (Houston) is the big body-banger type, D’Angelo is the slasher and very physical back, Zeke (sophomore Isaiah Roundtree) is very explosive and can find those narrow seams and Tevin is a combination of all of them,” he said.
Roberts said the group is cohesive.
“We all get along as a group, and we learn from each other,” he said.
Coleman has earned immediate playing time.
The depth chart for the upcoming game against Ball State has Coleman listed as the starting running back for the second time this season.
“It’s good to see Tevin as a true freshman to have enough fortitude to get in there and compete with the big guys,” senior center Will Matte said.
While Coleman said he sees being a starter this early in the season as an accomplishment, he still needs to work on parts of his game.
“I want to continue to make big plays, make the right reads,” he said. “I just need to keep practicing and learning.”
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