Former East Hall football and basketball standout Lee Coleman is currently a redshirt freshman wide receiver at Northwestern University in Chicago. Coleman, a high school quarterback, was a legitimate redshirt his freshman year at Northwestern but redshirted this year on account of injuries.
Coleman is taking a break from college life this week to spend some time with his family and friends during the holiday.
Times sports writer Katie B. Davis talked with Coleman about next season’s prospects, what he does to fill time while home and what he wants for Christmas.
Q: Other than Christmas, do you get to come home at all during the year and if so, when?
A: Well last year, since I was a redshirt, I tried to come home on the weekends when we had away games and I only had one class on Fridays. This year I didn’t come home because I got used to staying up there, and at the beginning, I was playing so I didn’t have time to come home.
Q: What’s the best thing about getting to come home for the holidays? What are some things you do while back in Hall County?
A: The best thing about coming home during the holidays would definitely be seeing my family and getting a chance to eat a home-cooked meal. While I’m at home, I love spending time with my family and my friends. I mostly hang out with my friends when I’m here in Hall County. We usually go to the movies as a group or try to go to the malls and shop a little bit if we have money.
Q: What kind of course load did you take this past semester and what are you majoring in? What do you want to be when you "grow up?"
A: My courses this past semester were pretty cool. I took a math, human development, and a sociology class. This semester I only took three classes because it was during the season and my fourth class would’ve made my schedule really difficult with the time situation. I’m currently undecided on my major right now, but I’m pretty sure that I am going to major in LOC (Learning and Organizational Change), which is some form of business in the School of Education. I really don’t know what I want to be when I "grow up." Hopefully I’ll find out soon.
Q: Tell us about playing Division I college football. What’s it like?A: Playing Division I college football is really tough. It’s a lot different from playing high school football. Everybody is so much faster and the tempo of the game itself is so much faster.
Also, the coaches yell a whole lot more but I was already use to the yelling since I had to deal with my dad yelling growing up and (East Hall basketball) Coach (Joe) Dix all in my face screaming during basketball season. College football is also different because everybody on the team at some point was a key player for their high school team which means that you really have to compete to play.
Q: When do spring workouts start and what are you doing this offseason to make sure you are ready physically and mentally?
A: Well, we start school Jan. 7 and unfortunately we start workouts then. This winter I’m really trying to gain some more weight and study the playbook a little more so that I’ll be able to know all of the receiver positions. Gaining some more weight is key because players in the Big Ten are huge.
Q: Do you stay at Northwestern over the summer and if so, what do you do while there?
A: Last year I didn’t get to stay up there for the summer because I was hurt, but from what my friends tell me, all they do is workout, go to summer school and hang out a little bit.
Q: You have endured some injuries while at Northwestern. How has your recovery been and what’s the outlook for the upcoming season?
A: Yes I have which stinks because I really had a good chance to play this past season. My recovery process is going really well and I’m almost ready to go full speed again. My plan for the upcoming season is to be healthy so that I’ll have a chance to compete at full speed and hopefully I will be able to help my team win.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in regards to actually getting to play in 2008?
A: I’m expecting to compete as hard as I can. Hopefully I’ll have a great year and our season will go really well. I would also love to get my first career college catch and also a touchdown. As of right now that is all that I can hope for.
Q: Take me through a typical day at school and a typical day while at home for Christmas break.
A: During football season, we get up around 6 (a.m.) because our meetings start at 7 (a.m.) and practice starts around 8:30 a.m. Practice usually ends around 11 a.m. and then we have breakfast and some people might have class so they would have to leave practice a little earler. After practice is over, if you’re injured, you have injury treatment and after that you have class. After class is over, I usually study for about 2-3 hours and then I have the rest of the time to chill with my friends. While I’m home for Christmas break, I usually just lie around for the first week and then later I start back working out so that I’ll be in shape when I get back. Other than be lazy for a little bit and hanging out with my friends, I actually still have to do chores around the house. I try to get out of them by arguing that I don’t be at home that long to start doing chores all over again, but it still doesn’t work.
Q: What did you ask Santa for?
A: I asked Santa for a little bit of money and some clothes. Hopefully Santa will come through since I think that I’ve been a good boy.