Malachi Coleman is going to be a Husker.
The 4-star athlete announced his decision in a ceremony at Lincoln East on Saturday, choosing Nebraska over the other six schools that made his shortlist. He was also considering Oregon, Georgia, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, USC and Michigan.
“Imma stay home,” Malachi Coleman picks Nebraska. pic.twitter.com/4JZ8IKH6EX
— Brady Oltmans 🤠 (@BradyOltmans) October 22, 2022
Coleman’s decision was the first commit for the Nebraska coaching staff since former head coach Scott Frost was fired on Sept. 11. Interim head coach and noted recruiter Mickey Joseph took over and reached out to Nebraska’s commits. He sold them on the program and they stayed. Only 4-star edge Cameron Lenhardt re-opened his commitment and that decision came after Joseph dismissed his primary recruiter, Erik Chinander. Coleman’s pledge to Nebraska was Joseph’s first as interim head coach. It was also a big one.
“He was straight to the point of nobody is going to have a better relationship with me and nobody is going to be as open and honest as him,” Coleman said back in January. “I loved that. He said that I’m a priority to them. He’s going to make sure everything is fine and I come to Nebraska. He was personable and easy to talk to and made me feel even more wanted at Nebraska, even though we don’t know what I’m going to play yet.”
The homegrown prospect steadily rose up the recruiting rankings the last two years, due in part to an explosive junior season. He became the big play threat for the Spartans in connection with quarterback Noah Walters, now at North Alabama. Coleman scored 10 touchdowns on 17 catches for 561 yards, averaging 33.0 yards per catch. On defense, he made 57 tackles and 7.5 sacks with four forced fumbles. He’s tallied 435 yards and six touchdowns on 29 catches through six games of double coverage this season. He’s an improved run blocker on the edge, embracing the physicality of shoving defenders. East plays undefeated Elkhorn South in the quarterfinals next week.
Coleman’s athleticism and size stands out on the field, court and track. The three-sport athlete is a forward on the Spartans’ basketball team and a sprinter and jumper in the spring. As a sophomore he leaped 45 feet, 1 inch for fourth in the triple jump mark at the state meet. That year he posted season-best marks of 11.29 in the 100, 22.63 in the 200 and 45-9 in the triple jump. He improved all those marks during his junior year, posting personal-records in the 100 (10.46), 200 (21.34) and triple jump (46-4.5). He finished second in both sprints and third in the triple jump at state.
Coleman runs a 4.38 40 with a 42-inch vertical. He bench presses 285 pounds, hang cleans 340, squats 450 and deadlifts 530.
Not only has he gotten faster, he continues to grow into his body. He added about 20 pounds to his 6-foot-5 frame between his junior and senior football seasons. His coaches marveled as his athleticism, physicality, ability and character.
“He’s selfless,” Nebraska Elite coach Araf Evans previously told Hail Varsity. “There are very few adolescent young men who don’t put themselves first when they’re thinking about things.
“I think he has more value off the field than he does on the field, just by his power and presence in helping others. I know that’s very important for any organization. That’s a kid that I want on my team.”
That applies to Coleman both on and off the field. The high school senior hosted a three-day strength and agility camp called “Fly Like Chi,” where proceeds went to a local foster care system. He’s signed autographs and taken pictures with young fans after games as well. Odds are he’ll have plenty more adoring fans during his career as a Husker.
We’ll have more to come from Coleman’s commitment.