by Malik Vincent
According to USO (U. Prep, Sci. Tech and Obama) for senior linebacker Jaylen Colman, “there is no place like home.”
His stay at Gateway High School in Monroeville was cut short by what he described as “family issues that forced him to move back into the city.”
The talented multi-position former Peabody football star will attend Pittsburgh University Prep at Milliones for the 2011-12 school year.
Coleman has participated in preseason scrimmages with the team and has participated in all team workouts—minus one week to sort out his enrollment—since his return to the district.
“Jaylen is fully eligible to play with the USO team and actually did a great job during our preseason scrimmages,” Obama Academy athletic director Andre McGee said. “We’re really excited to have him back in position with us and we believe that he is going to do everything that is expected for his pursuit of an athletic scholarship.”
USO head coach, Lewis Berry, who coached Coleman at Peabody the past three seasons, was unreachable for comment.
“It feels good to be back to what’s familiar,” Coleman said. “My experience at Gateway was great. Coach (Terry) Smith was one of the best coaches that I ever had. I’d made friends there and the move is bittersweet. But it’s the best one for me.”
In a brief statement Smith said that Coleman “with his family issue (and with their discretion) has decided to leave the program.”
He is currently being looked at by as many as 10 major college programs, including Virginia, Purdue, West Virginia, and Pitt. But Coleman really wants to be a Cincinnati Bearcat.
“When I visited the school this summer, I really felt comfortable there,” he said. “Out of each of the schools that are interested in me, I think I really want to go (to the University of Cincinnati).”
His stepmother Tashika Cox said upon arrival back in the district, Pittsburgh Public Schools gave him two options for attending school.
“Since Obama Academy is a magnet program, we had to notify the program beforehand if Jaylen was going to be attending there,” she said. “Since we were obviously too late to make that decision, they gave him the option to enroll in the Boys Academy at Westinghouse or University Prep. Jaylen really wanted to play for the USO team, so he chose UPrep.”
Coleman, known for his running ability, will, as he has in the past, also play at running back for USO. A situation that he described as “back to normal.”
(Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)