CLEVELAND – Don't tell Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline offensive guard Harold Coates to slow down.
During a drill at Tuesday's Elite Skills Camp at the Cleveland Browns Stadium, the offensive line coaches were demonstrating a drill and asked Coates to volunteer how to do it. A fellow lineman wasn't really paying attention while holding onto a bag as he expected Coates to only do a walk through, but instead Coates went full speed and pancaked the guy holding the blocking dummy.
"It's just how I do things," Coates said after the camp was over with a big smile on his face. "I go 100 percent all the time. That's why I came out here to this camp. I just wanted to show myself to the coaches and show them that I'm capable of being better than what they see on film. I've been working on getting stronger, and we just started conditioning, and that's the main thing working on so far. I'm just trying to get in better shape for the season."
After his pancake block he looked to be in prime shape.
While Coates won't blow people away with his frame. He's listed at 6-foot-2 and 315 pounds, but he might be just a tad over 6-feet tall. Maybe it's because of that he plays with a chip on his shoulder all the time. But maybe it's over reasons.
You see, Coates isn't an Ohio native. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh up until last school year. He moved with his mom to Youngstown, Ohio, to get a fresh start and the transition was really tough for him at first.
"I never been out here before when my mother moved me out here, so everything came apart," Coates said after a few minutes of reflection. "I don't want to talk about why we moved. It's kind of personal. It was just time for us to kind of get away from things."
The transition was obviously tough, but Coates said he had to push through and eventually he made the best of out of it. And a big reason he did was because he landed at Ursuline.
"I came up here, and our landlord knew about Ursuline," Coates said. "He asked my mom if I'm interested in playing football, and he showed me to Ursuline. I showed up there at 300 pounds, and I worked hard at getting stronger and faster. From there, things have kind of worked out for the best."
Coates already has three impressive offers on his resume from Indiana, Illinois and N.C. State. He said other schools like Cincinnati, Ohio State, Penn State and Pittsburgh are showing him interest. He said he wouldn't mind going back to Pittsburgh – heck he's a big Steelers fan – and that's why Pitt is a school that interests him.
"I've talked to a couple of Pitt coaches," he said. "They really like me and they've seen my film, but they haven't offered me yet. I just have to show myself."
He hopes to do that to other schools too.
"I'm not in any kind of rush," he said. "Any school that wants to recruit me, then I'm going to be very interested in them."