Commit Capsules: Rodney Coe

February 8, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Rodney Coe
Running Back
Edwardsville High School
Glen Carbon, Illinois
6-3/238
Scout.com Profile | Rivals.com Profile

OFFERS: Iowa, Illinois, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC, Wisconsin and several others.

STAR GAZING: He is listed as a Four Star prospect on the Scout and Rivals five star scale. He was also a US Army All American selection at linebacker.

QUOTABLE: “We recruited him as a running back. That’s what we thought from day one. That’s what we’re going to start him out as, at running back.” Iowa Recruiting Coodinator Eric Johnson in the Cedar Rapids Gazette. | “You know, if he can hold at that area, 250, 255, maybe (he stays at running back) but if he outgrows it that won’t be a bad thing, but our intentions are to play him at running back and we have shared that with him and we are excited about that. We think he’s a good running back.” Kirk Ferentz on Rodney Coe

JON’S TAKE: Coe is coming to Iowa to play running back, and he is going to have that opportunity. You can see that from the quote above. Iowa let’s players have a shot at the positions they most desire. After that, one of two things happens: they and the coaching staff recognize they can perform at that position, or the player doesn’t need to be told any longer that another position might be in his best interest. With Coe, I am not sure which one of those things is going to happen.

Iowa generously listed him at 238-pounds in their signing day release. Well, generous might not the right word here; I think he’s bigger than that as he might go 250 on the hoof right now. If he gets too far beyond that weight, it might be tough for him to stay at running back.

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When I watch Coe move on film, he’s obviously not a breakaway speed guy, but he has real good ball skills for a player of his size. However, I am reminded of watching Christian Ballard when he camped at Scout.com’s Iowa City combine back in the spring of 2006 (I think that was the year). He was verbally committed to Kansas at the time of his combine visit and was thought of as a tight end prospect. That was until one of the Scout.com Camp organizers asked him to go take part in some defensive line drills. From that point on, Ballard stole the show at that camp, along with then Minnesota prep and future Wisconsin receiver/returner David Gilreath. No one could contain Ballard. He had good feet, great balance and he was lighting quick playing with his hand on the ground.

At that point, Ballard’s recruitment blew up, Iowa got involved and the rest is history, other than to add the old Kansas coaching staff was none too happy with Scout.com for a while because of that.

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When I see Coe, I can envision the same thing happening once he gets on campus. He already has a knack for defense, and many of the big time names he had scholarship offers from wanted him on the defensive side of the ball. I think you are looking at someone that might have a career arc like that of Ballard or Jonathon Babineaux before him, if he cannot maintain his weight at running back…OR, if he is sold on the concept of moving to defense, if that is what Iowa ever pitches to him. The NFL life expectancy for a running back is two or three years; it’s better than that as a defensive lineman, and Iowa is doing a good job of putting defensive linemen into the pros; Ballard and Adrian Clayborn are headed there next year. Babineaux is there. Mitch King is on a practice squad, Matt Kroul is with the Jets. Colin Cole is in Seattle, etc, etc.

Do I think Coe has potential in the NFL as a running back? I wouldn’t bet on those odds. Do I think his ticket to the league is more likely as a defensive lineman? Yeah, I’d bet on that horse before the other.

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High school honors – – Participated in U.S. Army All-American game . . . 2009 Alton Telegraph Player of the Year . . . two-time first team all-conference selection as a running back . . . third team all-conference linebacker as a junior . . . second team all-conference running back as a sophomore and second team News Democrat honoree . . . named to the 2009 ESPN 150 Watch List and was a MaxPreps sophomore All-American . . . Career – – rushed for 2,515 yards, with 32 touchdowns and had 13 catches for 208 yards with three touchdowns . . . recorded 65 tackles, with six QB sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception . . . helped team to a state playoff appearance as a junior . . . rushed 14 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman . . . had 118 attempts for 912 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore . . . rushed for 898 yards and 13 touchdowns on 106 carries as a junior . . . had 102 carries for 554 yards and six touchdowns as a senior, along with 10 catches for 185 yards with three touchdowns.

Personal – – Born 5/18/93 . . . open major . . . parents are Lois and Floyd Ramsey . . . high school coaches were Mark Bliss and Matt Martin.

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