J.C Coleman is the running back for Virginia Tech Hokies, who finished their season with a win over Tulsa in the Independence Bowl. He finished his career with 1,519 yards and seven rushing touchdowns, adding 231 yards and a score through the air. He was selected to participate in this year’s Tropic Bowl, and his accolades include being named the 2014 Military Bowl MVP.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Coleman, and he shared both his background in football and his future endeavors in the sport.
How old were you when you first fell in love with football?
I was 4 years old when I first began playing football, and I’ve actually found books and drawn pictures that I created during that age stating how much I loved football and wanted to play in the NFL.
Can you take a moment to describe your recruiting and commitment process? Why did you chose Virginia Tech?
Well coming from a Virginia high school powerhouse, I was highly recruited. I reeled in about 15 scholarship offers mainly from the ACC schools, and then Florida and West Virginia also offered and were my top schools. I chose Virginia Tech for many reasons. It was relatively close to home, and my grandparents live about an hour away so I was always able to visit them. My parent are huge supporters, and they were close enough to pretty much make every game. Lastly, at the time, they had just lost David Wilson to the NFL (Drafted in the first round to the Giants) so I felt like I had a chance to come to VT and make an immediate impact in the backfield.
Who was your role model in football when you were growing up, and who was your role model outside of the sport during your childhood?
Growing up as a kid from Virginia, I loved to watch Michael Vick play. He was extremely exciting to watch. As I got older and realized that Running Back was MY primary position, I would definitely say Ladanian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles were two that I really loved to watch. Outside of football, I would say my father for sure. He was just a guy that worked extremely hard for me, and pushed me to be the best I could.
What’s the most inspirational quote that a coach has ever told you?
“Never despise small beginnings.” This was a quote that really hit home to me because right now I look at my situation as a small beginning, being someone that’s projected to get picked up in the later rounds or possibly as a free agent. With that being said I’m thankful for the opportunity and to be in the situation because that small beginning could become something that I never dreamed or imagined.
Who in the NFL do you see as a role model for what you want to accomplish, and why?
Darren Sproles for sure! He’s a smaller guy, but fast, has hands out the backfield, and is just dynamic. He’s been successfully for many teams in the league, and has longevity. Would love to accomplish the things he has, and I feel that I really could.
What did it mean to be selected in the Tropic Bowl last Sunday?
It was a very great feeling to get selected to play in the Tropic Bowl. My season didn’t go as well as I wanted to, so to know that I had another opportunity to strap the pads up and show my abilities in front of scouts meant a ton to me. I had a great time out there!
If an NFL scout were to walk up to you and give you ten seconds to sell yourself, what would you say?
Every single team in the NFL needs dynamic guys that can score from anywhere on the field. I feel that I can have the same impact on a team as Darren Sproles has had with his many teams in the NFL.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself being a huge contributor to an NFL team, and being a successful player not only on the field, but off the field as well.
And to close, what’s the most important thing about you off the field that makes you a better player on the field?
I would definitely say my leadership skills, and the ability to bond and get along with virtually anyone. Guys know I can be trusted, and that I will put the work in to get the job done. That translates over to the field for sure.
Locker Room Update wishes J.C. the best of luck in his future. You can follow him on Twitter here to keep up with his updates as he prepares for the 2016 Draft.