.@HoosierFootball star set to make mark w/ @AtlantaFalcons. @pdiprimio story @ http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150502/SPORTS/150509965/1013 …
Indiana's Coleman heading to Atlanta
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2,000-yard back picked in third round
Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 7:08 am
In the end, for Tevin Coleman, it's not about where he was drafted but what he does with the opportunity that matters most.
The Indiana running back with first-round hopes faced third-round reality Friday night when the Atlanta Falcons made him the No. 73 overall pick, No. 9 in the third round.
The fact four running backs were chosen ahead of him, including two from the Big Ten in Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah, was just another source of motivation for Coleman, who set a school record by rushing for 2,036 yards last season as a junior.
As the second round wrapped up with his name being called, Coleman tweeted, “It's in God's hands. No words to be said. Just watch me on the field.”
Coleman's first-round hopes ended late Thursday night. Only two running backs were selected in the first round – Georgia's Todd Gurley went to St. Louis as the No. 10 pick and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon was the No. 15 pick by San Diego.
On Friday, Alabama's T.J. Yeldon was the No. 36 pick by Jacksonville. Detroit took Abdullah with the No. 54 pick.
Then, finally, it was Coleman's turn.
Coleman is the highest Hoosier picked since receiver Cody Latimer went to the Denver Broncos as the No. 56 pick in 2014. Offensive lineman Rodger Safford was the No. 33 pick by the St. Louis.
Coleman entered the draft with the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.39) of any running back. He averaged 7.5 yards a carry for the Hoosiers last season, and had four 200-yard games.
The last IU player to be drafted in the first round was receiver Thomas Lewis by the New York Giants in 1994. That's the longest stretch without a No. 1 pick of any Big Ten team.
The Falcons, who had Coleman in for a visit in the weeks leading up to the draft, needed a running back after the departures of Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers. Coleman's main competition will come from second-year player Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith.
“Tevin is a big, strong fast back, who can take it to the house,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told atlantafalcons.com. “He has nice run skills and vision. This guy can be a difference maker.”
Coleman will join former Hoosier teammate Adam Replogle in Atlanta. He's the highest Indiana running back drafted since Vaughn Dunbar, a former Snider standout, went in the first round, at No. 21, to the New Orleans Saints in 1992.
Coleman became the program's third unanimous consensus All-American in 2014, joining Anthony Thompson (1989) and Dunbar (1991). He finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting, the best placing by a Hoosier since Antwaan Randle El was sixth in 2001.