Malachi Coleman, the Lincoln East 4-star athlete and top-ranked recruit in Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class, announced on Thursday morning he’s re-opening his commitment. Coleman cited changes in the Nebraska coaching staff as reasons for re-evaluating his decision.
The No. 2 athlete in the 2023 recruiting class committed to Nebraska on October 24 in a ceremony at Lincoln East. He picked Nebraska over dozens of schools including Oklahoma and Oregon, largely because of Mickey Joseph. Nebraska’s eventual interim head coach built Coleman’s trust throughout the recruiting process. Coleman told media gathered that he wouldn’t have chosen Nebraska if not for the former Nebraska quarterback. Joseph was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of strangulation and third-degree domestic assault. As a result, Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts said in a statement Joseph was on indefinite administrative leave.
— Malachi Coleman (@ChiColeman23) December 1, 2022
As of Thursday morning, Coleman’s Twitter header still featured a Joseph quote from a Sports Illustrated profile—”They don’t want this giant to wake up.”
Coleman’s pledge to Nebraska gave the Huskers a big lift. His addition added enthusiasm among recruits and pushed Nebraska into the top 30 in the consensus recruiting rankings. He’s now the second Husker commit out of three since August 25 to re-open his recruitment. The other was fellow 4-star Cameron Lenhardt of IMG Academy in Florida. Earlier this week, Lenhardt announced Rhule’s coaching staff re-offered him a scholarship.
Coleman 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.
The homegrown prospect’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.
Coleman’s work in the community is as noteworthy as his on-field accomplishments. 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.