Elizabethton's Coleman finds a home at Furman

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Dec 20, 2017 at 8:27 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Cameron Coleman felt at home at Furman University.

Coleman, a defensive lineman from Elizabethton High School, boasts an explosive first step at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds. He had 15 offers to play NCAA Division I football. After narrowing his choices down to Furman, ETSU, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, the decision ultimately came down to where he felt most comfortable.

“People always told me when I went through the recruiting process that I needed to go somewhere where felt like home,” Coleman said. “The first time I visited, it felt like home for me. I knew that was the place I wanted to be.”

Coleman, who was the Region 1 defensive player of the year in 2016 and an All-State selection, often dominated at the high school level. According to his recruiting profile, he can bench press 315 pounds, runs a 4.9-second 40-yard dash and has for his size, an impressive 29-inch vertical leap.

His high school coach said he also sets an example with his effort.

“He plays extremely hard. He understands the game, his position and what people try to do when they block him,” Elizabethton coach Shawn Witten said. “He’s an intelligent young man with football savvy. He’s been incredibly blessed and talented, and he’s played four years at a high level.”

Coleman said he enjoyed the recruiting process, although he added it was nerve-racking at times. With his plans of majoring in engineering, Witten believes Coleman has chosen a good place for himself academically.

He will join another high-profile Elizabethton athlete on campus with three-time state champion tennis player Danielle Vines. Although he played more at defensive end in high school, Coleman believes he will be a nose tackle in the Paladins’ 3-4 base defense.

Witten has no doubt he can be an impactful player like he was in high school.

“He’s been extremely productive for us,” Witten said. “He’s a program changer. We’ve been pretty stout on our defensive line where Cameron has been such a great leader for us.”

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