Former star McCallie quarterback B.J. Coleman said Thursday he is confident he made the right decision leaving the University of Tennessee and joining the UTC Moc football squad.
"I am so excited to be in Chattanooga. I couldn't be happier, I'm pursuing a dream," he said at an afternoon press conference at McCallie.
He said he believes the Mocs, who were 1-11 last season, can turn things around and make the playoffs in coming seasons.
"We are going to be a lot of fun to watch. It is going to be something special," he said.
Earlier in the day, new UTC football coach Russ Huesman said, “We are excited to have a player of B.J.’s caliber join our program. He is a great addition to what we feel is already a strong recruiting class.”
Coleman said Coach Huesman was a big factor in his selecting Chattanooga, calling him a man of character who promotes a family atmosphere. He noted that his father played football with Huesman at UTC.
He said, "Coach Huesman has brought an electric atmosphere here."
Coleman also said, "I had a great two seasons at the University of Tennessee, but I am looking forward to wearing the blue and gold."
He said Huesman's pro-style offense "allows you to do so many things and also be a manager of the game."
He said, "It's a great opportunity for me to learn their offense and continue to be a student of the game."
Though he declined to criticize new UT Coach Lane Kiffin, he said Huesman "is more about character and doing things the right way."
Asked directly about Kiffin, he said, "He's a wonderful man, and I think he's going to be very successful."
Coleman said he is looking forward to hooking up with former McCallie players on the team.
He praised his former UT teammates and said they were supportive of his decision.
Asked if it was difficult to leave Knoxville, he said, "I think it really hit me as I packed up my car and drove away."
But he said, "Chattanooga is the place I love. This is where I grew up and where my buddies are."
B.J. Coleman – QB – 6-3 – 210 – So-TR – Chattanooga, (Tennessee)
Transfer from Tennessee who saw action in three games as a freshman in 2008…redshirted the 2007 season…will be eligible immediately and have three years to play at Chattanooga…4-8 passing for 21 yards in a 20-10 win against Vanderbilt…only pass attempts of the season…also rushed for 24 yards on seven carries against the Commodores…Earned SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll recognition in 2007…HIGH SCHOOL…Four-star rating from Rivals.com and Scout.com…No. 10 pro-style QB by Rivals.com and No. 16 overall QB by Scout.com…No. 90 overall QB by ESPN.com…Named TSWA first-team All-State for Division II AAA as a senior in 2006 and the American General Mr. Football Award Winner for Division II AAA as a senior and junior ... Offensive MVP of the 2006 Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps Team ... named to the Tennessean’s Dream Team ... Led the West All-Stars to a 35-25 victory in the East Meets West All-American football game in Orlando, Fla., completing 6-of-7 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown ... Member of 2005 Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps ... Named All-District and All-Region in 2006…Completed 166-of-257 attempts for 2,927 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior in 2006 ... Also as a senior, carried 51 times for 241 yards and seven touchdowns ... Threw for 2,203 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior in 2005 ... As a sophomore in 2004, passed for 1,993 yards and 15 touchdowns ... Holds school records for passing yards in a season and career and passing touchdowns in a season and career...Led McCallie to Division II-AAA State Title Game in 2006 ... Three-year starter at quarterback ... Three-year starter on the baseball team at pitcher and in the outfield ... Coach at The McCallie School by Ralph Potter…PERSONAL ... Full name is Bryon Elwyn Coleman Jr. ... born September 16, 1988…father, Bryan, played four years at Chattanooga from 1977-80.
2009 Chattanooga Football Signing Class
Marlon Anthony – WR – 6-5 – 185 – Fr-HS – Acworth, Ga. (Kell HS)
Chris Awuah – TB – 5-9 – 190 – Fr-HS – Marietta, Ga. (South Cobb HS)
Will Brooks – FB – 6-1 – 225 – Fr-HS – White Pine, Tenn. (Jefferson County HS)
David Clemons – OL – 6-2 – 270 – Fr-HS – Calhoun, Ga. (Calhoun HS)
B.J. Coleman – QB – 6-5 – 210 – So-TR – Chattanooga, Tenn. (Tennessee)
Wes Dothard – LB – 6-1 – 210 – Fr-HS – Carrollton, Ga. (Carrollton HS)
Zac Fairchild – QB – 6-4 – 230 – Fr-HS – Ringgold, Ga. (Ringgold HS)
Jake Francis – OL – 6-2 – 270 – Fr-HS – Marietta, Ga. (Walton HS)
Briant Henry – SS – 6-0 - 180 – Fr-HS – Stone Mountain, Ga. (Chamblee HS)
Durlandis Hill – DE – 6-2 – 220 – Fr-HS – Newnan, Ga. (Newnan HS)
D.J. Key – DB – 6-0 – 180 – Fr-HS – Centerville, Tenn. (Hickman County HS)
Gunner Miller – FB/LB – 6-1 – 210 – Fr-HS – Chattanooga, Tenn. (East Ridge HS)
Graham Nichols – QB – 6-3 – 187 – Fr-HS – Franklin, Tenn. (Franklin HS)
Brian Sutherland – WR – 5-10 – 175 – Fr-TR – Smyrna, Ga. (Miami University)
Joshua Williams – DE – 6-3 – 210 – Fr-HS – Griffin, Ga. (Stephenson HS)
Kadeem Wise – CB – 5-10 – 170 – Fr-HS – Lawrenceville, Ga. (Berkmar HS)
Quick Notes on Chattanooga’s 2009 Recruiting Class
- 16 members, all from either Georgia or Tennessee
- 14 are current high school seniors
- 2 transfers, one who is currently enrolled as a true freshman
- 3 with at least a two-star rating by Rivals.com and Scout.com
- 8 earned all-state recognition during their prep careers
- 2 finalist for the Tennessee Mr. Football Award
- 5 from Tennessee
- 11 from Georgia
- 4 from the Chattanooga area
- 10 expected to contribute on offense – 3 QBs, 2 WRs, 2OL, 2 FBs, 1 RB
- 6 expected to contribute on defense – 1 LB, 3 DBs, 2 Des
- 10 honor role/National Honor Society/Beta Club students
- 3 earned Scholar-Athlete of the Year/Student of the Year/Top Student honors