Veteran leader and elite safety, Rajric Coleman, is striving to take his leadership skills off the field and into the classroom. Coleman is excelling in disciplinary studies with an education minor and is expected to graduate this spring. His plans after college are to coach football and teach physical education at his former high school, Agua Fria in Avondale, Ariz. “I want to be a coach and give back to my community.” said Coleman, who is the son of Michael and Dimitria Coleman, and has one brother and one sister. Coleman is already giving back to the community of Cache Valley by being a standout example for developing players. He is a leader on and off the field by the way he carries himself from day to day. “Rajric is a leader through example. He exceeds in everything whether it be the weight room with us, the classroom with us or at school,” USU defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bill Busch said. Coleman’s main examples growing up were his grandfather and late uncle. He has always admired his uncle on and off the field. After his uncle’s passing, Rajric has tried to do everything in honor of him. His grandfather also invested a lot of time into Rajric’s life so he is always striving to make him proud. Coleman previously attended Glendale Community College in Arizona, where he played cornerback. He logged 53 tackles and two interceptions in his career helping the Gauchos to an 8-2 record in 2008. “Playing at a junior college helped get me ready for bigger, faster, stronger guys and to understand the game more,” Coleman said. Coleman was recruited to Utah State as a corner. A safety position became available and coaches asked Coleman to step up and fill the spot. “Having played safety in high school it was familiar,” Coleman said. The coaches asked him to change his body to fit his new position better, “Which he did a great job with,” Busch said, noting Coleman’s work in the weight room. In addition to adapting to the position change, Coleman has tried to adapt to his different surroundings coming from the Arizona desert to the Utah mountains. What Coleman misses most about Arizona is the heat. “The snow is cool to look at, but I don’t like it. It’s just too cold,” Coleman said. He enjoys the community of Cache Valley because everyone is very nice, welcoming and gets along. Aside from the cold weather, Coleman was excited to be a part of Utah State’s education program, tradition and football legacy. Juggling both studies and football can be very difficult. Coleman manages both through developing time management skills. These skills help him earn good grades, while working towards his career and still be focused on the game. “I study long hours, get mentors and tutors, and just ask for help. I used to never ask for help, but once I got here I knew I was going to have to start,” Coleman said. Being a prime example of successful time management, Coleman earned academic all-WAC accolades in 2009 for excelling in his studies. Coleman also excels in community service, doing several projects in the area. “I feel that helping the community is important because they give so much to us when they come to our games. They buy tickets and so much more to support the program. Helping the community is just a small token of our appreciation for all their support,” said Coleman. One of Coleman’s many projects was mentoring youth in the “Quality Youth Services” program, which he did activities including tutoring, talking with youth and taking them to events like Utah State basketball games. “I really liked one of the projects that I did for my community service in helping out with delinquent kids. If being a positive influence on these kids can keep them to stay out of trouble, then I feel that I have done something to help make them a better person and help make this community a better place,” Coleman said. Coleman has been successful in his athletic endeavors throughout his life, but his passion for football shines through his play on the field. “After everything was said and done, it was the thing I had the most love,” Coleman said. Coach Busch commented that Coleman truly enjoys football and studies the game. Through his devotion, coaches have noticed a great development in the last year. His hard work pays off as he is a leader on the field. “His energy and accountability are the biggest impact to the team and the defense,” Busch said. “He’s always 100 percent bought into what we’re teaching him.” Coleman said the highlight of his career as an Aggie was beating BYU. He had one interception and four tackles in the game. He snared another interception in USU’s Homecoming game against Hawai’i, tying for the team-lead with three. “My favorite part about football is getting interceptions,” Coleman said. As a senior and one of the anchors of the USU defense, his teammates look to him not only for tackles and interceptions, but also for leadership. “We’re more together as a team and everyone’s always helping each other out,” Coleman said. Helping out is nothing new for Coleman, and that’s what he does best, whether it is helping out the team or the community. -USU-
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