30-in-30: Kendall Coleman

Sports

West Virginia quarterback Jack Allison (11) is sacked by Syracuse defensive lineman Kendall Coleman, right, during the second half of the Camping World Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Strong and steady, that’s the best way to describe Kendall Coleman, a 4-year starter at Syracuse. 

In 44 games, the defensive end racked up 137 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks.

His best season came in 2018 when he tied for second in the ACC with 10 sacks. Coleman says nothing compares to chasing down a quarterback.

“Rage. It’s just an amazing feeling,” Coleman told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Everybody on the field is hyper-aware, they know where everyone is and for the most part the quarterback is the only one that you have a chance of him not knowing, he’s paying attention to something else. Even if he catches you at the last second he can’t get his body in position to give a blow back. They just have to sit there and take the shot and so that’s a nice feeling for my part.”

Growing up in Indianapolis, Coleman modeled his game after a pair of former Colts pass rushers— Robert Mathis and fellow Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney.

“In high school, I would see Robert and Dwight on Sunday’s out there spinning on everybody,” Coleman said. “On Friday night’s, I’m out there rippin’ and spinnin’. My coach is like “we don’t teach that, don’t do that” and I’m like they’re doing it and I want to be like them.”

Being like Mathis and Freeney is a lofty goal, and one that continues to take shape.

“This entire journey has been a dream. I don’t remember a time when I was playing football where I wasn’t thinking about being here in this moment.”

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