TAMPA – A 75-yard touchdown in the season-opening win over Robinson put Blake freshman running back Omarion Coleman on the map. This came after he started last spring off well down the team’s depth chart.
The 5’9″, 160-pounder had a 138-yard performance in that game on 19 touches (18 rushes, one catch). The 2020 prospect went off in the second to last game of the season against Chamberlain where he totaled a whopping 326 yards and two touchdowns on 38 touches (35 rushes, three receptions).
For the season, he rushed 157 times for 1,089 yards and seven touchdowns while also recording 17 receptions for 165 yards and three scores through the air. Averaging 6.9 yards per carry, adding four 100-yard rushing performances and 10 combined touchdowns is not too shabby for a true freshman.
Coleman called his first varsity season a surprise.
“At the beginning of the season, I was fourth on the depth chart behind more experienced players still trying to learn the offense and fit my way in,” he told Prep Sports Scouting. “After working in the off-season getting ready for fall football I came in with the hunger and the will to compete.
“I realized that this was going to be my year after the first game of the season which was my first game of the season and I scored a 75-yard touchdown late in the 4th quarter to clinch the game. My running back coach really pushed me hard every day in practice so that I can perform on Friday night’s.”
Coleman earned a Class 6A All-State honorable mention nod by Florida HS Football. Perhaps his most impressive performance went underappreciated in a 20-13 loss at Hillsborough. He led all players in that game with 134 on 22 touches. Coleman juked two defenders on the way to a 23-yard rushing touchdown early in the third quarter.
He says his favorite part of the game is sitting back and watching film.
“Doing that helps me be able to learn the small things that make you better as a player,” he said. “Also, just going out and being able to play because the small things will make you better than the next person, not just your natural abilities.”
Starting his football career at age 10, he was a running back and defensive back. He says he dreamed of playing professional football one day at a young age and told himself he would do anything it takes to get there.
This is how he broke down his fit in the Blake offense.
“Playing running back in this offense was not only a success but I felt comfortable which to me matters a lot. They rest of the players took me in especially the offense line over time, we made a very good bond with each other in school and on the field mainly.”
After two years at Blake, head coach Adam Hill left, but it wasn’t before he instilled his ways onto the program. A vocal leader and passionate coach, Hill helped Coleman a lot in his first varsity season. 12-year defensive backs coach Duane Thomas is set to take over as the new head coach.
“Playing under coach Hill was a great experience because I learned a lot of knowledge and football,” he said. “The coaching staff is awesome when I’m around them I feel at home.”
Entering his second high school season, Coleman anticipates a better showing than Blake’s 5-4 record this past year.
“I believe that this year would be the year we make a run for it is because of the dedication that my teammates and I have on and off the field,” Coleman said. “This would mean a lot to me because we would be making history and knowing that I accomplished something very special.”
Coleman’s biggest role model is God and his Godfather saying: “He pushes me every day to be better and always stay humble no matter what because my gift was given to me and can be taken away any day.”
He pointed to his vision and cutting ability as his biggest strengths. He’s aiming to improve his ability to read defenses pre-snap and his blocking and overall speed.
No offers have come this early in the process, but NC State, UCF and a few other Division-I programs are showing interest in Coleman already.
He says his ultimate goal with football is simply to learn the game more and be a coachable player.
Coleman is off to a fine high school career. Topping the 1,000-yard rushing mark is not easy at any stage and he did that as he worked his way up the team and earning trust in everyone around him.
Look for the speedster and hard worker to be the centerpiece of the Yellow Jackets offense next season. He will certainly turn more heads as he gains even more confidence.
Favorite players to watch – Dalvin Cook
Playlist before games – Motivational speeches
Favorite movies – ATL
Favorite TV shows – Law & Order and Friday Night Lights
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I’m a very competitive person. I set extremely high standards for myself.”
Nickname (s) from teammates or friends – “5-star”
Game film: Coleman’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.