The Transfer Portal has delivered a potential difference-maker in the trenches. Colgate defensive lineman Coleman Coco is the latest commitment to the 2023 Rice Football recruiting class.
The past several months have been focused on building a strong base of high school talent. Now with the Transfer Portal officially opened to collegiate players, the 2023 Rice Football Recruiting class has added its first veteran player. Colgate defensive lineman Coleman Coco has committed to the Owls.
“I was open to deciding wherever felt like home,” Coco told The Roost. “From the start of Rice recruiting me I knew deep down that they were the best fit.”
Coco burst onto the scene in 2018 as a sophomore. He started seven games that year and led all Patriot League defensive linemen with 46 tackles. After playing a two-game schedule because of COVID-19 in 2020/2021, Coco reemerged with 40 tackles in 11 games in 2022. He brings 12 career sacks with him to South Main.
This is the second time Rice has landed a transfer from Colgate in recent years, signing offensive lineman Jovaun Woolford in 2020.
Coco was the third defensive lineman in the class at the time of his commitment, which began with a run of offensive linemen last fall. Chris Clark was the first member of the 2023 Rice football recruiting class in the trenches. He committed to the Owls this past summer. One month later, he was joined by defensive end Joseph Mutombo.
Coco’s natural position is on the edge, but he’s fairly versatile for a man of his size (6-foot-3, 240 pounds). Perhaps his most exciting trait, though, is his drive. From the first snap on his highlights it’s evident he plays through the whistle and finishes with power.
Part of what drew Coco to this defense was its depth and his ability to be a potential game-changing piece on the outside. “I feel like the defense is one that I can make a ton of plays in and also give my teammates a lot of opportunities,” he said. “I will excel at dominating the line of scrimmage and making big time game changing plays.”
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