One of the top junior college defensive line prospects in the Class of 2016 will make his next college choice this Thursday, and he’s down to two SEC schools, he told SEC Country on Tuesday night.
Josiah Coatney, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive end from Holmes Community College has eliminated Florida and Texas A&M. He will either play for Ole Miss or Alabama this upcoming college football season.
He spoke with SEC Country and told us the reasons why he would commit to either Ole Miss or Alabama.
On Ole Miss: “They have a great coaching staff; it’s a great place to be; it’s a great environment. They have a bright future.”
On Alabama: “They have a great tradition. They have a history of winning championships. Like Ole Miss, they also have a great coaching staff.”
Coatney will have three years of football eligibility remaining, not including a redshirt year if either school decided to use that.
The Douglasville, Ga., native said he has a “pretty good” idea of which school he’ll be choosing Thursday but he isn’t 100 percent sure of his choice just yet. Coatney said he plans on watching more game film, which he has been doing for the past couple of weeks, until he holds a signing day ceremony at his school.
The junior college prospect does not lack confidence, to say the least. Coatney believes he will be able to step on either program’s campus and compete alongside current starters.
“I feel like any school I choose, I can play immediately,” Coatney said. “The depth chart really doesn’t matter to me because the best players are going to play. My goal is to be the best player, so I’m not worried about the depth at any school.”
Coatney took the junior college route out of Chapel Hill High School in Douglasville because he did not perform well in the classroom. It’s one of Coatney’s biggest regrets, he says, but it’s one he’s learned from.
After already gaining the experience of being on a college campus, he believes that not only his football skills will help him when he gets to Ole Miss or Alabama, but also the life skills he’s learned will help him have a leg up on some of the other newcomers.
“I think it’s going to help me tremendously with already being in a college atmosphere,” Coatney said. “Staying on track in college has really prepared me for this next step.”
Both Alabama and Ole Miss have come under fire as of late with allegations of recruiting violations. Just this week, Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis had to resign amid allegations of violations and former Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil admitted at the NFL draft that a Rebels coach paid him money while he was a student.
The staffs have been in contact with him since then and told him to not worry about the incidents. At Alabama in particular, while the loss of his potential position coach does hurt, Coatney is used to losing coaches. Both his defensive line coach and defensive coordinator at Holmes have left.
“It’s still a great program with or without him,” Coatney said of the Davis news. “They still have that championship mindset.
“It was surprising to me, but coaching changes happen. I’ve mentally prepared myself for that. I feel bad for (Davis).”
Coatney will have a ceremony at his school Thursday with his family, friends and coaches. He will enroll in the school he chooses this summer. When that moment comes Thursday, Coatney said the emotion that will be experiencing the most isn’t happiness but relief.
He just wants to get the on the field already.
“This isn’t a job for me. This isn’t a business. This is my life,” Coatney said. “God has given me the ability to do something great. I feel like there’s no limit to what I can accomplish. I want to go as far as I can. I only want to stop playing when I get too old. I’m never going to stop until then. Even when I get old, my passion for the game will never fade away.”
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.