99 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Valentino Coleman

Valentino Coleman (99) collects one of his five tackles in 2013 against Massachusetts. Expect him to play a much bigger role this year at defensive tackle, and perhaps even start. - Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

In which BracketCat counts down the 99th day until kickoff with a profile of defensive tackle Valentino Coleman.


#99 Valentino Coleman
True Senior
6-2 | 285
Seattle, Wash.


Position: Defensive Tackle

Previous College: College of San Mateo (Calif.)

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Valentino Coleman (b. Feb. 12, 1993) was a late addition to the 2013 class who somehow made it past Signing Day without any major college offers. So when Coach Mike Cox swooped in for the kill, Coleman was a fast taker.

Cox was familiar with Coleman from when he tried to recruit him to Washington. Coleman was a JUCO teammate of fellow 2013 commitment Nate Jackson. Coleman had 62 tackles, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2012.

A reserve defensive lineman who provided depth during his first season in Manhattan, Coleman now will compete for a bigger role as a senior in 2014. I project him to be the initial starter opposite nose tackle Travis Britz.

"He's a high-motor guy," Coleman's JUCO coach said about him in a GoPowercat.com article last year. "He's intense and tough. He'll battle. Just one of those guys who's active all over the field."

Coleman is a true senior who still has a redshirt available, although God forbid he should have to use it because of an injury. Although he had no other official offers, Miami apparently was very interested in him.

"He's just a late graduate," his coach said of how the 2012 first-team NorCal player slipped through the signing period. "I'm not sure people didn't want him or there's any reason behind it. They just got in on him late."

Coleman predominantly lines up at defensive tackle, but he can play multiple positions along the defensive front.

"We played him all over," Coleman's coach said. "Defensive tackle, outside end, three-tech. I know K-State wants him inside, but they'll be able to use him wherever."

Coleman saw time in 10 games in 2013, including in each of the final six contests when we turned the corner.

He totaled five tackles, including a season-high two at Texas, and also had stops against UMass, Kansas and Michigan, while he broke up a pass against Iowa State.

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