Things heated up in a hurry for running back Derrick Coleman (6-0, 225, 4.6) from Fullerton (Calif.) Troy. He had a lot of interest from most of the Pac 10, Mountain West and WAC. It would be only a matter of time before Coleman would rack up offers. He received one on Saturday and the talented running back from Orange County decided to make his college decision.
Coleman was a standout at yesterday's UCLA camp. So much so that the Bruins decided to pull the trigger and tender Coleman an offer.
The Bruins have made a reputation on offering players ahead of the curve, while they don't always pull them in, they were able to get Coleman's pledge.
"UCLA has been showing a lot of interest in me," Coleman said. "I was looking at Cal and San Diego State, but I went to UCLA's camp and I liked the way they coach their players.
"UCLA also has great academics and they are real close to home," Coleman said. "Like I said the coaching staff is great.
"I really like UCLA's running back coach Dino Babers a lot," Coleman said. "He communicates well to us. He's able to talk to us on our level.
"Coach Karl Dorrell is great. He's interested in us as people, not just as football players.
Coleman is a special young man in more ways than just being an athlete. He has a hearing disability, but he has never let that get in the way of being successful on and off the field. He has taken his adverse condition and made it into a positive, like all winners do.
"My hearing loss kind of helps me," Coleman said. "I have to concentrate harder in class and it has never hurt me on the football field.
In an earlier interview with Troy coach Jim Burton he had the following to say about the newest Bruin.
"Derrick has great size and he's very athletic for the position," Burton said. "He's very tough and hard to bring down.
"To give you an idea how athletic Derrick is he's a three-sport letterman. Besides football, he also participates in basketball and track. His events are the sprint relay, the triple jump, and throws the shot.
"Derrick can do it all," Burton said. "He can throw, catch and run. Plus he's one of the strongest on our team.
"Derrick's clean and jerk is 295-pounds and that's a good lift. He works out with our linemen. He's a really good guy who wants to get better.
The Bruins land a player in Coleman who earned League MVP and all-CIF honors as a junior.
Coleman rushed for 2,464 yards and 38 touchdowns while averaging 11.1 yards per carry in 2006.