Ben Coleman is a 6’3”, 300 pound lineman from Linfield Christian School in Temecula, California. He is rated as a consensus 3-star recruit.
Coleman was first offered by Cal in November of 2017. Cal was his second offer, just a few weeks after he received on offer from Arizona. After receiving 20+ total offers, he committed to Cal in June of 2018. He took an official visit in early December before signing on Early Signing Day.
Unlike many of the other prospects that we have taken looks at in the past weeks, 247Sports does not list any athletic stats, so we will have to see how he looks in the film. However, what is very interesting about Coleman is his two-way ability. He is listed as a defensive end on the Cal website but they also say that he can play left tackle. However, multiple reports suggest that he will start out on the offensive line. Either way, it seems that people think that he has the talent to play on on either offense or defense at the next level. This versatility is very interesting, and it will definitely be something to watch as to what side of the ball (or both) he ends up on.
The first real look that we get in terms of Coleman as a player is in his stats. He actually missed all of his senior season with an injury, but he had a very productive junior season. In that season, he ended up with 79 tackles (25 TFL), 10.5 sacks, and 14 quarterback hurries. He also forced one fumble. As an offensive lineman, he had 62(!) pancakes. The big season from Coleman was enough to earn him All-State honors. It is also notable that he served as a team captain for his last three seasons. Though it is unfortunate that we couldn’t get a look at his senior year performance, we can just hope that he used his time off wisely and will come into camp at full strength.
As stated above, Coleman missed all of his senior season, so we will have to look at highlights from his very productive junior season in order to evaluate him.
His footage started off with defensive highlights. The first thing that stood out to me on his tape is his size. I mean, yeah, I expected someone who is 6’3”, 300 pounds to be big, but he looks huge out on the field. Obviously he is playing against smaller players which definitely contributes to this perception, but this still is a guy who should take up a ton of space in the trenches at the college level. He routinely demanded double teams from the opposing high schools and demonstrated the strength to still create disturbance through two defenders.
It also looks like he moves pretty well for someone of his size. He isn’t fast by any means, but he is quick enough for someone who would likely be a nose tackle/interior lineman. I also saw him routinely trip up defenders who tried to break to the outside. He obviously doesn’t have the speed to keep up with skill players on offense, but he showed that he can still fight for tackles if he is in the right position, which is a place that he gets to often.
On offense (offensive highlights start at around the five minute mark), he was very impressive as well. His defenders routinely end up on the ground despite him not always looking to deliver big hits, which speaks to his strength. He looks very good as a run blocker and also impressed me as a pass blocker. He uses his hands very well and has enough athleticism to keep himself between the defender and the backfield.
However, the one worry that I do have for him would be with his athleticism. Whereas he definitely is quick enough to play nose tackle on defense, I have a few concerns about him being able to play offensive tackle and keep up with Division 1 edge rushers. I could definitely see him, if the coaches decide to use him on offense, either losing some weight or moving to guard.
Either way, and no matter the position that he plays, it looks like the coaches have identified another solid player. We have all groaned a bit at the lack of four-star players in the upcoming class, but it is apparent that all of these three stars really can play.