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Spartan football signs 3-star football recruit Keon Coleman, expects to also play basketball

February 3, 2021
Keon Coleman, a three-star recruit that plays wide receiver and guard at Opelousas Catholic School. Coleman committed on Feb. 3 to play both sports at Michigan State. (Courtesy: Submitted / Keon Coleman)
Keon Coleman, a three-star recruit that plays wide receiver and guard at Opelousas Catholic School. Coleman committed on Feb. 3 to play both sports at Michigan State. (Courtesy: Submitted / Keon Coleman) —
Photo by Courtesy Photo | The State News

Kirk Gibson, Lorenzo Guess, Adam Berghorst.

And the latest: Keon Coleman.

Maybe you could call it Keon's Double Play.

Wednesday morning, the 3-star recruit committed to play football at Michigan State with the hopes of also playing basketball. Coleman, out of Opelousas Catholic School in Opelousas, Louisiana, will likely follow a lineage of dual-sport athletes to compete for the Spartans.

Coleman's commitment comes on the heels of news that four-star Oak Park recruit Rayshaun Benny flipped to attend the University of Michigan after verbally committing to join MSU's football program.

The Lousiana native waited until the regular period began on Feb. 3 for signing his National Letter of Intent after originally committing to Kansas before de-committing earlier this offseason on Oct. 6.

"Keon is a very special player," Head Coach Mel Tucker said Wednesday in a press conference. "He's tall, he's long, he has a very good build for a receiver. Very smooth and athletic, strong release off the ball, he gets open with speed, quickness, size, instincts and awareness. He has the athletic ability to out-jump defenders."

"He has outstanding ball skills."

The 6-foot-4, 200 pound wide receiver and point guard/shooting guard chose the Spartans over offers from other Power 5 schools in USC, Virginia Tech, Texas, Tennessee and TCU.

"He's very effortless in his pass routes and his ability to go and attack the football," Tucker said about the recruit Wednesday. "He's also planning on playing basketball as well ... he was a high priority target for us."

Coleman, who averaged more than 26 points per game as a guard playing basketball during his junior year, amassed 1743 receiving yards, 63 catches and 30 receiving touchdowns across the 2019 and 2020 football seasons according to 247Sports.com.

He also is a high jumper for his schools' track team, competing on three varsity athletic teams.

It isn't abnormal for star athletes to play multiple sports at the college level. But it is uncommon for athletes to do so at the NCAA Division I level of competition.

Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are likely the most well-known two-sport pro athletes of all time: Both played football and basketball at the highest professional level.

In college, it's not out of the question. Mel Tucker was on staff at MSU under Nick Saban when Guess, a former Spartan safety and now strength & conditioning coach, played both basketball and football. Guess earned two varsity letters in basketball and was a four-year letter winner from 1998-2001 with the football team.

"I love guys that play multiple sports," Tucker said. "If you can play two sports at the Power 5 level ... you're a heckuva athlete and those are the types of guys we are looking for."

MSU added Coleman to a class that was relatively devoid of receiver talent outside of now him and tight end Kameron Allen, who early enrolled out of Forney, Texas.

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