published Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

B.J. Coleman's hand fine as UTC pro day nears

Former UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman practices with wide receivers in Finley Stadium in preparation for the Mocs' pro day on April 2. Coleman is recovering from a recent hand injury.
Former UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman practices with wide receivers in Finley Stadium in preparation for the Mocs' pro day on April 2. Coleman is recovering from a recent hand injury.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

The zip is back on B.J. Coleman's throws and the vise-like grip is back in his handshakes. Just in time, too, because the former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback will be throwing in front of NFL scouts Monday during the Mocs' pro day.

"The hand feels really good," Coleman said Tuesday before a throwing session at Finley Stadium. He was unable to throw at last month's NFL combine because of a broken little finger. "When I get up, I have to get the stiffness out every morning, but after 10 o'clock it's pretty much loosened up and ready to rock and roll."

With treatments, strengthening exercises and the use of a bone stimulator, which expedites the healing process, Coleman said he's close to 100 percent. He looked it Tuesday as he threw to former Red Bank and Tennessee Tech wideout Tim Benford and Dallas Walker, a 6-foot-6 tight end who played at Western Michigan.

Benford caught two passes from Coleman during the East-West Shrine Game in January and said he can't tell a difference.

"He looked today like he did at the Shrine game," said Benford, who will catches passes from Coleman at UTC's pro day. "You can't even tell he had the injury."

Coleman mixed in short, intermediate and deep balls and appeared to throw all of the routes with no trouble.

"I feel very strong. I've been working with [Mocs offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield] the last day or two and he's got my feet firing, which is good," Coleman said. "That helps the hand. If your feet are in the right position, you're not putting a ton of stress on it. I think the biggest thing is to be able to throw 50-60 balls, which I have been. Yesterday I threw way over that amount."

Satterfield was at Tuesday's workout, as were UTC wideouts coach Will Healy and tight ends coach Wesley Satterfield.

"I think he looks slim at 225 or 230 pounds," Healy said. "He looks agile, quick on his feet and his footwork's gotten a lot better. The ball's live coming out of his arm and he looks really good."

Walker grew up in Mississippi, but his mom and siblings moved to Chattanooga several years ago. One brother, Cameron, plays football for McCallie; another, Trace, spent time as a walk-on at UTC.

Walker participated in WMU's pro day earlier this month and was pleased with his performance. Players are allowed to attend two pro days -- Benford ran at Tennessee Tech's -- and Walker said he had nothing to lose by participating in UTC's, which will have plenty of scouts on hand to see Coleman.

Coleman will be working with Benford, Walker and former Mocs wideout Joel Bradford often this week to get their routes and timing sharp so they're at their best Monday.

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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