Oregon Ducks linebacker Tyson Coleman, a redshirt sophomore from Lake Oswego High School (Lake Oswego, Oregon), enters his third season in the Oregon program.
Before joining the Ducks, Coleman was an incredibly dominant two-way star in one of OSAA’s true powerhouse programs. Coleman lettered three seasons as a running back and linebacker/safety. He rushed for 1,580 yards on 214 carries (7.4 YPC), caught 14 passes for 182 yards and finished with 24 total touchdowns as a senior. His accomplishments were enough to earn him a spot on the Tacoma News Tribune’s annual “Northwest Nuggets” group. He was also named 2010 Offensive Player of the Year and first-team OSAA All-State running back and safety.
Coleman was rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports while earning four stars from Scout and ESPN. Scout praised Coleman for his body control, size and toughness but saw his weaknesses as coverage awareness, instincts and tackling ability. Scout listed Coleman as the No. 19 safety prospect nationally while ESPN listed him as the No. 17 OLB.
Here’s one evaluation of Coleman:
“Coleman plays deep safety and running back for his Lake Oswego team. He is a good athlete that displays good balance and vision when he’s running the ball, and he plays defense with an “echo of the whistle” type of nasty streak. He needs to be put in a position to make more plays as he typically lines up 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage and has to chase plays. A good hitter, but poor tackler, Coleman needs better fundamentals.” – Scott Kennedy
Coleman held scholarship offers Oregon State, Washington, Oregon secondary coach John Neal was able to persuade the talented Oregon native to sign with the Ducks.
In 2011, Coleman graduated high school early and joined the Ducks in the winter. He was able to compete in the 2011 Oregon Spring Game recording one tackle. Coleman spent the season as a redshirt, participating on the scout team. His hard work earned him scout team player of the week honors in back-to-back weeks in huge wins against Stanford and Washington.
In 2012, Coleman was one of the team’s top reserve linemen seeing action in all 13 games. He finished the season with 34 tackles (18 unassisted, 16 assisted), 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two pass deflections.
Coleman did not participate in the 2013 Oregon Spring Game for precautionary reasons. However, his injuries are not expected to have any impact on the upcoming season.
Going into the 2013 season, Coleman will be in a battle for one of the two starting ILB jobs vacated by the graduations of Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay. Coleman will be in competition against Derrick Malone, Rahim Cassell, Rodney Hardrick and Joe Walker. With Coleman’s experience in the program and his time on the field last season, he should win one of the starting spots.