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SEATTLE - Rivals100 defensive tackle Deandre Coleman was recently honored with an invitation to play in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. He was officially announced as an Army All-American on Tuesday at a ceremony at Seattle's Garfield High School.
Coleman, the top player in the state of Washington and the No. 8 rated defensive tackle in the country, will join 89 other top seniors in the nation's most prestigious all-star game. In 2008 a record 30 U.S. Army All-Americans were selected in the NFL draft, including six first-round picks.
"It feels good, it's a great opportunity and I'm blessed," explained Coleman during the acceptance ceremony. "It means a lot because a lot of great players have put on this jersey before me. I never thought about this when I got to high school, but it's a great opportunity."
The Bulldogs head coach Anthony Allen is also thankful to have a player like Coleman on his roster. Allen's even more thankful now that he gets the opportunity to join Coleman in Texas and partake in one of the premier coaching clinics in the country.
"He has taken us all on some great rides and I want to thank Deandre for getting me down to this football game in San Antonio," said Allen. "It has been a wonderful experience coaching Deandre and he is a wonderful kid."
Coleman also thanks Allen for making him the man he is.
"He's a good dude and he's taught me everything. He has supported me through it all."
Allen wasn't the only one supporting Coleman, whose entire family was on hand to watch the player everyone calls "biggie" put on the Army All-American jersey.
"My family has supported me and been with me the whole way," Coleman said. "My mom is great and has been through everything with me. I don't think she's missed a game in all four years. My Auntie too – they have both pushed me along the way."
The pushing helped because Coleman is on the verge of going to college and playing for a big-time BCS program. What does the 6-foot-4, 295-pound tackle think he can bring to the next level?
"I love contact and taking out my aggression on the field. I have a positive attitude and I will always be ready to play. I'm hard-working and always ready to learn what the coaches have to teach me."
The only question that remains is what college will have the opportunity to teach the talented athlete next fall. After originally committing to the University of Washington, whose campus is only a stones throw away from Garfield High School, Coleman has since rescinded that commitment and opened up the process.
"I'm going to take all five of my visits and probably commit in January."
Washington still remains near the top of the list, but a lot of questions need to be answered about the stability of the program first.
"If I see a school I really like I will commit. But if they [Washington] get a new coach in before that and I get a chance to talk to him that will change things."
In the mean time Coleman will get the show the nation what he is capable of in San Antonio on January 3, 2009.