The opportunity to make an early impact played a huge role in West Virginia adding a talented safety to their 2021 roster on Monday.
JUCO safety Caleb Coleman (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) from Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas became a late addition to the Mountaineers program when he gave a commitment to Neal Brown Monday night. Last season, Coleman registered 20 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1.5 tackles for loss and 4 pass breakups in seven games.
The Mountaineers have a big hole at safety after losing four players to the NCAA transfer portal following this past season. All-American starter Tykee Smith was the biggest name to leave, but the position group was thinned out with backups Noah Guzman, Jayvon Thrift and Jake Long also transferring out.
The secondary will welcome back 2019 starter Kerry Martin Jr., who opted out of the 2020 season, and get a full season out of former Arizona transfer Scottie Young, who was ineligible for all but the final game last year. West Virginia Sports Now spoke with Coleman on Tuesday morning, who is excited to get to Morgantown next month and show the coaches that he deserves a starting spot in West Virginia’s 2021 secondary.
“West Virginia has been pursuing me for like four weeks now,” said Coleman. “I’ve been talking to assistant ShaDon Brown, the defensive backs coach, and Neal Brown, the head coach. I’ve been talking to them a lot, actually I’ve been talking with ShaDon Brown every day. I felt like West Virginia was the best fit for me because I know they have a need at the safety position. They also showed that they really wanted me, I think I was the only JUCO safety that they offered. The love that they showed me really made me feel good about West Virginia.
“When they were recruiting me, they said that they wanted and needed me to be able to beat big schools like Oklahoma and they think I’m a perfect fit for their defense and will help them accomplish their goal of beating those teams.”
Coleman tells West Virginia Sports Now that prior to committing to the Mountaineers that he was getting recruited by Texas Tech, Mississippi State, Washington State and Western Kentucky.
“I committed yesterday because it just felt right and the time. I saw how much West Virginia wanted me and I didn’t see any point waiting any longer.”