Coleman, who earlier this year opted to forego his senior season at IU to enter the NFL draft, ran a reported mid 4.3 to low 4.4 second 40-yard dash and participated in a few individualized workouts with teams in Mellencamp Pavilion.
“(The workout) was real good,” Coleman said. “I just enjoyed the process and going through everything. It was real fun.”
As a junior, Coleman registered one of the single-greatest seasons in program history.
He ran for 2,036 yards on 270 carries despite spending half the season playing alongside inexperienced freshman quarterback Zander Diamont, who was rushed into playing after starter Nate Sudfeld was injured.
Roughly 1,200 of those yards came on a broken toe.
Coleman injured it first against North Texas, and it only got worse as the season went along. He didn’t want to speak about his injury and instead opted to play through the pain.
Coleman’s injury wasn’t revealed until after the record-breaking season. He had surgery to repair his toe only after his college career was finished and was therefore unable to participate at the NFL Scouting Combine.
That’s what made Wednesday’s personal combine all the more important.
“I was just trying to showcase my speed and that my injury is all taken care of and that I can run fast and things like that,” Coleman said. “I’m real happy with my performance.”
The Tinley Park, Ill., native was only able to start running full-go a few weeks ago, IU running backs Coach Deland McCullough said.
Coleman spent the last few weeks in Miami training for the draft. He’s also visited with a few NFL teams including the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions. He still has to meet with the Atlanta Falcons.
When asked, Coleman has been publicly comparing himself to the likes of Darren McFadden and DeMarco Murray.
He’s a bruiser, but also explosive. Big Ten would-be tacklers had a difficult time taking Coleman down alone. Half of his 28 career rushing touchdowns were 43 yards or longer, including eight that went 64-plus yards.
McCullough said he’s received feedback from NFL scouts about Coleman, but the words only mean so much to him.
He said the proof is in the work on the field.
“You could get all the verbal feedback you want, but the visual will tell you all you need to know,” McCullough said. “I think today was just a confirmation of what the people in this building and myself already knew.”
The various NFL mock drafts projected by the likes of ESPN, CBS and other news outlets have mostly pinned Coleman as an early-to-mid second-round draft pick.
There’s contract money to be had by second-round picks.
Timmy Jernigan, for example, was drafted 48th overall last season by Baltimore and earned a little more than $2.1 million guaranteed in his four-year, $4.3 million contract. His signing bonus was for $1.507 million.
Picks closer to the top of the second round were making closer to $5 million. Picks closer to the bottom made about $2 million.
Pay will sort itself out only after Coleman’s name gets called at the NFL Draft at Auditorium Theater in Chicago between April 30 and May 2.
Coleman will be watching the NFL draft with family. He said they’re just as excited as he is for his name to be called.
“I’m just waiting for that day to come,” Coleman said. “A dream come true, really.”