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Indiana RB Tevin Coleman says NFL decision coming soon

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Indiana junior tailback Tevin Coleman, one of just 18 FBS running backs in history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, said he will decide within the next week whether he will turn pro.


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He said he will discuss things with Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson and his family before making a decision.

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Coleman made his comments during media availability before the "College Football Awards Show," which will be held Thursday night. Coleman is a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation's top running back.

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks has written that Coleman's production -- he ran for 2,036 yards this season) "suggests that he has the stuff needed to be a feature back at the next level."

Coleman (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) said one of his main attributes is that he "can make big plays at any time." Coleman was a big-play machine this fall. According to cfbstats.com he has nine carries of at least 50 yards, tied for the national lead; eight carries of at least 60, which leads the nation; and four carries of at least 70, which also leads the nation. His 15 TDs this season covered an average of 41 yards.

Coleman rushed for 958 yards last season despite missing the final three games with an injury, and he said he had a goal to get to 1,000 yards this season. But when he reached the 1,000-yard mark in the sixth game, Coleman said he thought to himself, "Holy crap, I think I could hit 2,000."

Coleman was a 10.6-second 100-meter sprinter in high school in the Chicago area. Asked what he could run in the 40 if he had a week to prepare, he said, "An easy 4.4."

Coleman said he likes watching tape of Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. "He has my build, my style," Coleman said.

In a weekly series, draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah polls five NFL personnel executives about college football's top prospects.

Some notes from other prospects who were on hand Wednesday:

» Texas DT Malcom Brown, a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's top lineman, said he will decide after the Longhorns' Texas Bowl appearance against Arkansas whether he will turn pro. He said he has asked for feedback from the advisory board. Brown (6-2, 320) is a former national top-10 recruit who blossomed into one of the nation's top defensive tackles this season under new coach Charlie Strong. He told the Austin American-Statesman last month that he was considering a move to the NFL. brown, who is married and has two children, credited Strong and his staff with making him a better player this season. "When you walk out on the field, you catch their energy and run with it," he said.

» Florida State third-year sophomore K Roberto Aguayo said he had heard about stories saying he potentially could turn pro after this season. "That question is going to come with the season and career I've had," said Aguayo, a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, which goes to the nation's top kicker; he won the award last season. Aguayo did say playing in the NFL is "a goal I've had since I was a little kid," but that he had not given it much though, and that he has not asked for input from the advisory board.

» Safeties Gerod Holliman of Louisville and Landon Collins of Alabama said they will make their decisions whether to leave school early after their respective bowl games. Holliman is a third-year sophomore who has tied an FBS single-season record with 14 interceptions; he and Louisville face Georgia in the Belk Bowl. Collins, a junior, might be the most talented safety in the nation. Both are finalists, along with Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive back. Ekpre-Olumu has accepted an invitation for the Reese's Senior Bowl.

» West Virginia senior WR Kevin White, who also will be attending the Senior Bowl, offered a simple sentence when asked to provide a scouting report on himself: "He plays the game with a passion." White, a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver, named a litany of NFL wide receivers he tries to emulate: Julio Jones (for the way "he attacks the ball in the air"), Dez Bryant (for his "aggressiveness"), Brandon Marshall ("he's an all-around receiver") and Larry Fitzgerald ("out of all of them, he's the guy"). He also praised WVU senior QB Clint Trickett, saying, "Without him, I'm not sure where I'd be."

» Iowa OT Brandon Scherff has been invited to the Senior Bowl, but he said he is not sure if he will accept the invitation. Scherff (6-5, 320) went into the season considered one of the two or three best tackles in the nation, and he followed through with a solid season and is an Outland Trophy finalist. Last year at this time, Scherff was deciding whether to stay in school or turn pro, and he said he had no regrets about remaining at Iowa. "I play smarter and faster, and I'm stronger," he said.

» Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah is another player who is deciding whether to attend the Senior Bowl. Abdullah is one of the best receivers among the draft-eligible running backs, not surprising when you consider he began his high school career as a slot receiver before moving to the backfield as a junior. Abdullah has been dinged by some for his lack of height -- he is listed at 5-9 -- but said he no longer worries about it. Besides, he says, "It's not that good to be that tall at running back." Abdullah expressed disappointment in Nebraska officials firing coach Bo Pelini and noted that "expectations can be a bit much in Lincoln."

» Wisconsin TB Melvin Gordon, a Walker Award finalist who announced earlier in the day that he was turning pro, said he was "shocked" that Badgers coach Gary Andersen was leaving to become coach at Oregon State. "I didn't see it coming," Gordon said.

» Auburn C Reese Dismukes, also a finalist for the Outland Trophy, has accepted his invitation to the Senior Bowl. Dismukes grew up about 15 minutes from Ladd-Peebles Stadium, where the Senior Bowl is held, and he said his family always attended the game while he was growing up. "It always was a goal" to play in the Senior Bowl, Dismukes said. He also said he was pulling for all the SEC teams to win their games in the postseason. Even archrival Alabama? "Yes," he said. Dismukes paused, then smiled and said, "I'm not going to be heartbroken if they lose, though."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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