Eventually, William Coleman is going to have to leave Tyler, Texas.
The 250-pound defensive end grew up there. He played his high school football there. And now he's finishing up his junior college career in the same mid-sized town. For him, it's been a one-stop football career to this point.
Coleman will finally bust out of Tyler in May. Just how far he'll go, however, is undecided. The Tyler Junior College prospect's shortlist of top options spans time zones. Still, he may not be going far. A Lone Star State-based program headlines the group.
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"Texas Tech is No. 1," Coleman said on Monday. "Arizona State is my No. 2. Kentucky is my No. 3. USF is my No. 4. I guess they're all pretty much even, though. Tech and Arizona State are the top two of them. I really like both of those."
The home-state school holds obvious appeal. Coleman says there's more to like about Texas Tech than its location, though. He's visited once and plans to return on an official visit after the season. Still, he already has a detailed opinion of the Red Raider program.
"With me coming from a juco, Texas Tech could be the best place for me to come in with a new coaching staff," Coleman said. "They are going to get the new recruits that they want. That would be better than having to go to another school with the type of players they want already there. They have new coaches and they're bringing in a new system and recruiting the type of players they want in that new system. All those coaches at Tech, they are young and part of the new generation of coaching. I like what they stand for. And with most of that staff having played at Tech, I think that says a lot."
Arizona State is nipping at Texas Tech's heels as it relates to landing Coleman. The Red Raiders have the advantage of proximity and the fact that JUCO prospect has already visited campus. ASU has some things working in its favor, though. The Sun Devils can offer some things that the in-state option can't. And Coleman's visit to the desert could go a long way toward determining his landing place.
"Arizona State was No. 2 in defense in the Pac 12 last year," Coleman said. "They obviously have a defensive tackle that could have went to the NFL last year but chose to come back. That makes me know that something special is going on out there. That means they are chasing a championship.
"I'm probably going to take my official out there in December to try to catch one of their games after our season."
On top of official visits to Tech and Arizona State, Coleman will tour USF on Dec. 13. And while the Bulls trail and handful of schools in the chase for his commitment, the trip will provide an opportunity to make up ground.
"I'm looking at all the teams' depth charts and seeing how many seniors are graduating, but that doesn't really bother me because I'm going to go in there and work," Coleman said. "I'm going to base it off of how I feel about the coaches and how the players tell me about what the coaches are like."
Coleman, a full-term junior college student, won't join the FBS program of his choice until May of 2014. He currently holds eight scholarship offers and says he is starting to hear from both Alabama and Mississippi State, each of which intrigues him.
"I'm trying to wait it out for Alabama and Mississippi State. Those are the main schools that I am working hard toward."