NFL scouts have taken notice of Indiana running back Tevin Coleman this season, but one in particular has taken notice of something else -- that Coleman has succeeded without as much help as some of college football's other top rushers. Coleman is pursuing a 2,000-yard season and would become the 18th player in FBS history to do so. He has rushed for 1,906 with one game to play against Purdue. His 15 touchdowns have averaged 40 yards, speaking to his big-play capability.
"You don't reel off that many long runs behind a suspect offensive line like that and have the production he has," a scout told Sports Illustrated. "He should be in the Heisman conversation. He doesn't have a lot around him."
But does Coleman look for the home run too often? That is the primary concern the scout has about him.
"The one thing with him though is, is he going to be consistently able to give you the three-, four-, five-yard runs that sustain drives?" the scout added. "If he's hitting this many long runs, there's just not many guys like that in the league like the Chris Johnson when he first got in the league or the Reggie Bush or the LeSean McCoys. Those guys are all more elusive than him per se as far as make-miss ability, but this guy is good."
A junior, Coleman will go for the 2,000-yard mark Saturday against visiting Purdue, and with the Hoosiers out of bowl contention at 3-8, it will be his final game of the season, if not his college career. As an underclassman, Coleman (6-1, 210 pounds) faces a Jan. 15 deadline to file formal notice with the NFL to declare for early draft eligibility.