COLUMBUS - The Ohio State football team received great news on Wednesday morning when safety Kurt Coleman announced he would return for his senior year in Columbus (Ohio). There had been concern that the 5-foot-11, 188-pounder out of Dayton (Ohio) would leave after this season and try his luck at the next level in the NFL.
"After a lot of thought and study, I have decided to remain at Ohio State for the 2009 season to complete my degree and my college football career," Coleman said in a statement released to Ohio State media.
During the 2008 season Coleman had four interceptions to go along with 78 tackles and five passes defended. Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins commanded most of the media attention but anyone who followed the team closely knew that Coleman was a huge factor in Ohio State's top-15 defense nationally.
"I am extremely blessed to be in the position where these opportunities are possible, and I'm very grateful for the support of my family, my teammates and the Ohio State community," Coleman added in his statement.
The return of Coleman will be large for an Ohio State team that is losing more than 20 seniors along with junior running back Chris Wells. The defense will see several large departures with Jenkins and linebackers James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman going to the next level and the return of Coleman will help maintain leadership in what promises to be a young defense.
"My decision to come back is a lot about helping this team," Coleman said. "I feel we can do anything next year. We have a lot of great leaders coming back and an excellent group of underclass talent. For me personally, my family and I felt this was the best decision for me, to make my career at Ohio State even better than it has already been."
Coleman was named as an all-Big Ten selection and honored by the team four times last season as a defensive champion. Coleman is on track to graduate in December 2009 with a degree in sport and leisure studies.
"I have a lot to prove to myself and a lot of things I want to accomplish," Coleman said. "With one more year here, I can attain all those goals."