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B.J. Coleman Re-Unites With Prep Teammates

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B.J. Coleman And Friends Re-Connect


McCallie Football Alums Back Together


It had the feel of a mini high school class reunion at the McCallie dining hall Thursday afternoon.


First there was B.J. Coleman - the quarterback, the go to guy, the leader, the field general ??????" who was center stage as he formally announced he had signed with UT-Chattanooga to be a student-athlete for the upcoming fall semester and play football for the Mocs.


There to welcome him home from that great McCallie 2006 team were his wide receiver (Joel Bradford) and linebacker (Thomas Green), along with Lee Hilt who was a McCallie senior when the aforementioned trio were sophomores.


Those four guys will be part of the Mocs football team which takes the field September 3 at Finley Stadium against Glenville State as the (head coach) Russ Huesman Era of UTC football begins.


???It's great to have B.J. with the Mocs,'' said Bradford who is battling for a starting safety position.


???He's special and football is going to be fun again at Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoons in the fall with this guy leading the way.''


And lead he has.


Coleman, Bradford and Green - all currently redshirt freshman - played seven years of football together for the Blue and White, culminating with a state runner-up (Division II AA) finish as seniors in 2006.


With Coleman calling the signals from sixth through 12th grades, the Blue and White won three middle school titles with a lone loss in the sixth grade and only one loss (to MBA) as ninth graders.


The class of 2007 was 25-9 during the next three seasons as Coleman, with career passing stats of 7,123 yards and 53 touchdowns, was twice chosen TSSAA Division II AA Mr. Football (Offensive Back) and Bradford was all-state as a senior.


McCallie was also 7-1 at Finley Stadium - home of the Mocs - those three years.


???That 2006 team was special and with all the Moc players and coaches on the same page we can get some of that special feeling back,'' said Green who hopes to see playing time at linebacker and special teams in the fall.


???We all came together then and there is no reason we cannot all come together again under B.J. and the great coaching staff,'' Green stated.


But Coleman was quick to point out that he has to earn the starting job at quarterback and nothing will be handed to him.


???I plan to work hard during May, June and July and be ready to battle for the starting spot in August and we will see what happens,'' said Coleman whose dad, Bryon, played on three Southern Conference championship teams for UTC under coach Joe Morrison.


To earn the starting spot, the Chattanooga native will have to move past three QBs who were in spring practice, including front runner Jare Gault.




There is a possibility that Bradford could switch to wide receiver and the Coleman-to-Bradford combo will be back.


???When I met with Coach Huesman I told him that I would love to come to UTC, but Joel has to be back at wide receiver,'' state Coleman.


???Coach Huesman did remind me that he does have the final say on that,'' Coleman said with a laugh.


The four McCallie gridiron alums all played for current Brentwood Academy coach Ralph Potter.


???I believe that B.J. has the potential to be a successful quarterback at any level,'' said Potter who was a McCallie quarterback and then called the signals for the Mocs (1982-83-84; SoCon co-champs in 1984) a quarter century ago. Now one of his pupils and fellow alum will follow in his footsteps in the huddle.


???He has all the skills, drive and intelligence to lead a team and program,'' Potter stated. ???He??™s one of those players who make those around him even better. UTC is getting a high quality athlete and person.''


Bradford takes it one step farther.


???I don't care what anyone says, all those Heisman trophy candidates don't have anything on B.J.,'' stated Bradford, who scored touchdowns as a receiver, punt returner, defensive back and kickoff returner at McCallie. ???He can be one of those special players.


''It's going to be a great next three years for UTC football.''


The B.J. Era starts September 3. It just might be fun to go along for the ride.


Contact B.B. Branton at [email protected]

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