Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
Former Hoosier running back Tevin Coleman was selected with the 73rd overall draft pick on Friday evening by the Atlanta Falcons. Coleman joins former Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer as the team’s second, day two selection in as many years, as Latimer was drafted in the second round in 2014 by the Denver Broncos.
Coleman had a spectacular outing for the Hoosiers in 2014, rushing for over 2,000 yards, becoming the first player in school and just the 18th player in NCAA history to accomplish the feat in a season. His 2,036 rushing yards were good for 15th best all-time in NCAA history in a single season. He hit pay dirt 15 times while carrying the rock, which was 19th best in college this past season. His exploits were not just limited to the ground game, as he was second on the team in receptions, catching the ball 25 times for 141 yards.
His outstanding junior season led to numerous accolades including consensus All-American, first team All-Big Ten, Doak Walker Award Finalist, and finished 7th in Heisman Trophy voting.
Coleman joins a Falcons' squad that had the 24th best rushing attack in the NFL during 2014 at 93.6 yards a game. Atlanta currently has three other running backs on roster, who combined to carry the ball just 88 times for 396 yards last season. As such, Coleman should have ample opportunity to contribute early on a team that is looking to establish a run game under first year head coach, Dan Quinn, former defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, to pair with the team's lethal passing attack.
Quinn addressed his desire to have a well-balanced team in his introductory press conference with the team back in February, "The number one thing for me is balance. A team that’s able to have run and pass, that’s the hardest to go against. I have always admired teams that have tough, physical styles, something like the zone run game and then also have ways to attack vertically in the passing game. For me, the number one criteria is going to be balance and having different ways to attack."
Suffice to say, this looks like the ideal landing spot for the Hoosiers former home run hitter, despite going much later than most believed he would.