Back from a broken toe, Tevin Coleman shows off for NFL scouts at Pro Day #iufb

When Tevin Coleman thinks about the broken toe, the one he kept hidden over the second half of last season, he imagines what could have been.

He thinks of all the yards he left on the table, as if 2,036 weren’t enough. He remembers the toughness required to set Indiana’s single season rushing record, running for 1,195 of those yards on a broken sesamoid bone in his right foot.

Then he looks ahead at his future as an NFL running back, knowing that if he could dominate as he did as a roughed up, broken college junior at IU, there is another level he can reach as a professional.

“I’ve played with a broken toe for a long time,” Coleman said. “I still rushed for a lot of yards. The durability is there. … I did it with a broken toe, so being healthy, I’ll be much faster and more explosive. I’ll be ready.”

There were no surprises during Coleman’s Pro Day at IU on Wednesday, and that’s not a bad thing. Coleman demonstrated his speed, running a 40-yard dash clocked between the mid 4.3 to low 4.4 second range, and showed his agility as rusher to representatives from all 32 NFL teams.

The toe injury, which he initially suffered against North Texas on Oct. 4 and aggravated on Nov. 8 against Penn State, is finally healed and no longer a secret. At the time, Coleman told only IU running backs coach Deland McCullough, strength coach Mark Hill and his father, Wister, keeping the injury hidden — and undetectable — as he ran his way into Indiana’s record books.

“It was real painful,” Coleman said. “But I had to stick through it and fight through it. I’m a competitor and I wasn’t going to let my team down. I played every game. … A lot of teams talked to me about that and said I’m a tough guy because I played through that, so it was a real advantage — not getting hurt, but playing through that injury.”

Coleman has been working out in Miami since Indiana’s season ended, waiting for his injury to heal and preparing for the draft, which begins on April 30.

Most mock drafts have Coleman as a second- or third-round prospect. CBS projects him to go 17th in the second round to the San Diego Chargers. The consensus All-American has visited Dallas, Baltimore, Carolina and Detroit, with a trip to Atlanta planned for next Tuesday.

The Indianapolis Colts gave Coleman some local attention on Wednesday. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton spoke with Coleman and watched him run routes out of the backfield and participate in combine drills.

From here, Coleman said, he’s looking forward to watching the draft with his family in two weeks.

“They’re really pumped and hyped about draft day and I’m jsut ready for that day to come,” Coleman said. “It’s a dream come true, really.”

To read more on Coleman, his Pro Day and the injury he hid from nearly everybody, check into later today.


  1. Anyone who has broken his big toe will appreciate how impressive it is to play half of a Big Ten football season with such an injury, never mind having a record setting season. I broke my toe in High School. In relative terms, it’s a minor injury, but it’s very painful. Coleman’s a tough dude to have achieved that level of success with a broken toe for more than half the season. I hope he makes it big in the NFL.

  2. This kid is a very humble, VERY hard worker. He’ll be a 3 down back at the next level. He will compete for a starting job as a rookie. Go Hoosiers!!!

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