Will he be ready for Alabama?
“Oh yeah, definitely,” he said Tuesday.
Coleman, a sophomore who led Virginia Tech’s tailbacks with 492 rushing yards last year, sprained both of his ankles during a middle drill last week, getting horse-collared slightly by a defensive lineman, who rolled over his legs.
The final prognosis was a high left ankle sprain and a regular right ankle sprain. Initially, he thought it was worse.
“At that point, I thought both of them were broken,” Coleman said. “That’s the kind of pain I was in. It was just crazy.”
He was in a walking boot the next day but was walking freely at the Hokies’ scrimmage last Saturday. He’s still doing rehab every day and says he’s about “60 percent” healthy.
With Coleman out, redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds is listed as the No. 1 back. Backup Joel Caleb will serve a one-game suspension for the season opener, making Chris Mangus, who recently moved back to tailback after a brief stint at receiver, as the only other option.
Here are a few more notes and quotes from Tuesday’s interview and brief open practice period:
– In other running back news, Shane Beamer announced through the Virginia Tech football Twitter account that freshman walk-on Sam Rogers has won the starting fullback job. The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder from Mechanicsville has turned some head early in training camp.
– Linebacker Tariq Edwards (shoulder) and receiver D.J. Coles were both in blue during Tuesday’s practice. They were still participating in a few drills, however.
– Coleman and Demitri Knowles both said that although youngsters Deon Newsome, Der’Woun Greene and Chris Mangus have worked as kick returners, they both plan on doing it this year again. They were in the kick return meeting called by Shane the other day.
“One of the younger guys was like, ‘You might as well let me get this,’” Knowles said. “But I was like, naw, not yet. I feel that one of my goals is to get in the record book on kickoff return, for the school. Get in the record book and I’ll probably let it go.”
Knowles had 595 kick return yards in his first year on the field last season. To get into the top 15 in Virginia Tech’s record book, he’d have to eclipse Larry Fallen‘s 689 yards. But Knowles’ 28.3-yard average currently ranks better than anybody on that list, including leader Dyrell Roberts (25.9).
– Plenty has been written about Edmunds in the offseason, but it’s easy to forget he still hasn’t played in a college game yet. His first snap will be in the Georgia Dome against the nation’s No. 1 team in less than two weeks. Edmunds said it’s crossed his mind. He’s asked a few guys for advice in handling it, even though talking about it can only do so much.
“I have, but I think at the end of the day, you can’t really understand it until you really actually are put in it,” Edmunds said. “I asked David Wilson. The last time that they played Alabama, that was his first game, and he told me how it felt, the atmosphere, how the people were and how loud it was. But it was still kind of hard for me to understand, because I actually haven’t been there. Until I actually play and get to that point, I really won’t get a grasp of how it is.”
– I chatted briefly with backup quarterback Mark Leal, who will enter his third year as Logan Thomas‘ backup.
“I’ve been doing it for a while now and I have no problem with it,” he said. “I have patience and I just prep and get ready, because all it takes is one play and then I’m in there.”
Leal said he only briefly considered transferring at one point in his career but “never really took it into consideration.”
“I love the school, love the coaches and like I say, God has a plan for everybody,” he said, eager for his shot at the starting job in 2014. “My plan is just waiting my turn.”
– Leal said offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler gets on all the quarterbacks. He’s no exception.
“You can make the good throw, you can make a good play, but if your footwork was not right, he’s going to be on you and make sure that gets done,” Leal said. “He’s very detailed to make sure everything is perfect.”
– Receiver Josh Stanford said he scored the touchdown Saturday on a double move that beat cornerback Kendall Fuller. Although the lone score of the day, Stanford wasn’t thrilled with his showing.
“I messed up on a lot of different stuff,” he said. “Some of the stuff is noticeable to the fans and some of the stuff isn’t very noticeable to the fans but is noticeable in the meeting rooms. And based on all the things that we were coached to do, I wasn’t as on-point with all those little things, like lining up my splits and things like that. The touchdown was good, but I feel like I was kind of getting back to even with all the things I didn’t execute.”
– Here’s your daily scoreboard update. Things are coming along quickly. With 2 1/2 weeks before the Western Carolina home opener, Tech has plenty of time to get it finished.