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Tim Coleman readies to long snap during the recent Rubio Long Snapping Camp in Atlanta where the James Clemens sophomore has been listed among the top 50 in the country for the class of 2025. Photo Contributed

Tim Coleman Is Gold For James Clemens Football Team- Long Snapper Is Nationally Ranked

MADISON- For any football team no matter the level of play having a competent long snapper is like having a bank of gold. For the James Clemens Jets, their golden nugget comes in the form of 6-foot, 240-pound Tim Coleman who has established his spot on the squad as starting center and long snapper only having taken up the specializes talent as a long snapper mere months ago.

Coleman has quickly adopted to his new found talent and has been listed as the No. 46 long snapper among the class of 2025. His dubious honor comes compliments from the Rubio Long Snapping Fall Camp held in October where camp directors commented on Coleman’s talents: “Thick and powerful with a good starting base. He snaps with a lot of rage. His ball is quick and strong heading back to the punter.”

“When I first tried long snapping when our team was looking for one I was very raw as my snaps were like throwing a dead duck,” said Coleman. “Since beginning in May I did what I was told and I’m much better.”

Coleman, who also wrestles for the James Clemens wrestling team, has been working under the coaching of Ryan Parris, who is currently the School Resource Officer and former long snapper at both James Clemens and the University of Alabama. “Ryan hammers me on the drills he puts me through and is looking for consistency. He has helped me a lot as he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to being a good long snapper,” said Coleman.

Attending the Rubio Camp in Atlanta, Coleman received a good idea of what he called the long snapper environment as each of the 250 attending athletes learned a variety of drills where each snapper would start by snapping the football just three yards. From there, the drills led the snappers to snap the ball up to the 15-yard position. A video of each student was recorded and shared with both the instructor and student. Coleman was told by his instructors he needed to work on achieving better flexibility and to learn the proper hand placement on the football.

“Since attending the camp and working with Ryan I feel confident that I can compete with others,” added Coleman.

Rubio Camp instructors indicated if Coleman can get his eyes all the way through in one quick motion and drive his chest back to the punter, he will pick up his accuracy and speed. Having a tight spiral on the snap helps the ball slice through the air to a quicker speed.

The son of Clay Coleman and Amber O’Rear, along with his step-parents Chastity Coleman and Russ O’Rear, Coleman carries a 3.86 grade point average. He played basketball and baseball for recreational sports and began playing football in the eighth grade. He was overweight and out of shape and chose to attend local training gurus at D-1 who put the young Coleman through a battery of physical condition workouts. “They absolutely destroyed me as I was out of shape and they lit a fire under me and inspired me to get into shape,” added Coleman. “I toned up, lost a lot of baby fat and actually gained 30 pounds of muscle.”

Upon his freshman year at James Clemens, Coleman was approached by wrestling coaches he should try his hand at the enduring sport as a way to help his work in football. “Other offensive lineman did so and were very successful,” said Coleman. “I wanted to join the wrestling team knowing it would help me in football and it has helped me a lot.”

Though just in his sophomore year of high school, Coleman has a dream of playing college football for the Kentucky Wildcats. To play for the “Big Blue” has been his desire for years. He wants to study business and engineering once in college with the hopes of being a long snapper while in college.

Coleman has attended offensive lineman camps at Kentucky, Alabama and Vanderbilt. He also attributes some of his success to his mentor Walter Jones, a member of the NFL Hall of Fame and who lives in the immediate Madison area, who watches over his play in football and has done so since Coleman was playing for the Liberty Lions in eighth grade.

Being a splendid football player and wrestler takes enormous talents, flexibility, knowledge and strength. Coleman is certainly obtaining higher levels in each of those aspects of being an athlete, especially in the area of strength as he bench presses 310-pounds and has posted a personal best of 450-pounds in the squat.

When pressed to describe a perfect long snap, Coleman describes the talent as, “It starts with the hands and getting that good rotation of the ball. Having the perfect hand placement is important as the ball must be snapped in one quick movement. You must follow through with the arms through the legs and reach for the ball as you release it. The use of the legs is extremely important as that’s where the strength and flexibility comes from as a perfect snap is a mixture of both. Having good leg drive makes the ball travel at a fast speed.”

“T-Bone” as he’s so nickname by his teammates, Coleman is just beginning his wrestling season for the Jets and, when the time allows, he practices his craft as a long snapper to become that hunk of gold every football coach looks for.

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