published Thursday, December 8th, 2011

UTC's B.J. Coleman planning for NFL draft

  • photo
    Mocs' quarterback B.J. Coleman rushes for a touchdown when UTC faced the Citadel in October.
    Photo by Robin Rudd /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The day after Christmas, B.J. Coleman's pro football plan will begin.

The former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback will begin a couple of months of hard training by driving down to Hattiesburg, Miss., for a few days of workouts, which will likely include Brett Favre.

"I'm sure he might swing in a time or two, which will be good," Coleman said of Favre.

Coleman signed with agent Bus Cook last Thursday, and among Cook's elite clients are quarterbacks Favre, Cam Newton and Jay Cutler.

"[Cook] has seen everything and understands [the NFL], and to have a guy like that with some much experience is awesome" said Coleman, who graduates this month and is already back throwing with wide receiver Joel Bradford.

In early January, Coleman will travel to Pensacola, Fla., which will be his home base through February. There he said he'll train with Athletes' Performance at The Andrews Institute in nearby Gulf Breeze.

Coleman has invitations to the East-West Shrine Game and NFL Players' Association Game (former the Texas vs. The Nation Game) and plans to play in both. He's still waiting to hear from the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine.

Following the combine, he will return to Chattanooga to prepare for UTC's pro day in March. After that, he hopes to have numerous individual workouts with teams.

After a big junior season in which he threw for 2,996 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, Coleman had a difficult senior year. He missed four games with a shoulder injury and finished with 1,527 yards and nine touchdowns and interceptions.

"The shoulder feels great, and I'm rehabbing it two or three times a week," he said.

Coleman said he didn't think his senior stats would hurt his chances of being drafted. He is rated No. 13 among quarterback prospects by ESPN.com and No. 8 by DraftCountdown.com.

"I think, all in all, what's going to be important is how well the training goes," he said. "I think they look at [the seasons] for preliminary evaluations and from here on out they will stack you up with the guys that are coming out in the draft and see what you look like, see how smart you are and see if can handle the mental part of things."

Bradford, the two-time All-Southern Conference wide receiver, will keep training and try to attract some attention at UTC's pro day in March. The 6-foot, 165-pound Bradford will likely be considered an NFL long-shot despite 134 receptions during the past two seasons.

"I'm just going to go and give it my all and see what happens," he said last month. "Why stop now?"

First-team all-conference linebacker Ryan Consiglio won't be chasing any NFL dreams. He had 19 tackles in his final game, against Wofford, and the helmet and shoulder pads have been put away for good.

"I feel like going out the way I did, personally, I don't really think it could get much better than that," he said. "I'm ready to start a new chapter in my life."

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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Livn4life said...

Bradford is considered an NFL long shot and Coleman is almost a sure thing? Don't get me wrong, I love BJ and his heart for the game. But I cannot see him in an NFL uniform with a real possibility of playing. In any event, it's his money for the agent and I wish him the very best. Had he had a stellar senior season and not been hampered by the injury, I'd think he might have a good shot at an NFL career. In light of how he did last season, I just don't know. Best to Joel and BJ, two outstanding young men in pursuit of their dreams.

December 8, 2011 at 6:41 a.m.
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