After the loss of key playmakers from their 2018 squad, Dodge County has been looking for new athletes to step up their game, and senior Nathan Coley has certainly done just that making plays on both sides. Whether he is on offense at slot back, on defense at cornerback or even returning kicks on special teams, Coley is making highlight plays during his senior that will shift the momentum of any game. Earlier this season against Fitzgerald and Bradwell Institute he ripped the ball straight from a ball carrier to create a fumble, but last Friday against Southwest Macon, Coley made an even more remarkable play.
Dropping back into cover-4, Coley gave his man a cushion so that he could not get beat deep, but also stop him before the first down marker. The Southwest quarterback dropped back, and fired a pass out to the sideline at his receiver, but the ball was too high. The pigskin tipped off the receiver’s hands, ricocheted backwards to the ever-alert Coley who was originally closing on the receiver, but instead leaned back with one hand to intercept the pass, then toe-tapped the sideline to stay in bounds.
It all happened so fast that not everyone in the Dodge County crowd reacted entirely right away, but come Monday night, they came out with massive support for Coley in our Week 6 Top Play vote, giving him over 1500 votes in just 24 hours, which earned him the #1 play in the state.
When asked about what was going thru his mind during the play, Coley promptly responded, “I was just thinking about getting the football back to the offense.”
Watch his early senior film, and there are plays littered across individual highlights where the senior has made big-time plays. He seemingly has a penchant to get his hands on the football.
“I want to be the best player and teammate that I can be. I want to show my talent at cornerback, play great football my last season as the senior class at Dodge County high school.”
Now that we are at the midpoint of the season, the senior feels like that he has earned some well deserved accolades. “I won the Best Play of Week 6 in Georgia! I also won most athletic senior for my school.”
The win against Southwest Macon was much needed after their tough 30-27 loss to Fitzgerald the week prior. Now Dodge County has a 2-3 record on the year, and face-off against another 2-3 team in Northeast Macon, which has played some good football too, despite their record. The senior feels like last Friday’s win can be a turning point, and shift the momentum’s winds in their favor.
“Our season has picked up with our win last week. I’m going to keep striving towards our team goals this season to go along with my individual ones,” he said.
Recruiting-wise, Coley has not been hearing from any colleges just yet, which means he doesn’t have any visits planned either. The 5’11” 165 defensive back prospect is very quick, he changes directions on a dime, and cannot deny how reactive his hands are. Coley has a knack at creating turnovers, in fact, last Friday he also returned an interception for a score, and almost returned a kick too. Just to note, on that return Coley perhaps had one of the oddest plays that I have seen yet; as he emerged from the pack, the ball was knocked free, but he somehow re-grouped the football behind his back, and ran an additional 40 yards with the ball still behind his back before being tackled inside the 10 yard line.
Coley believes that his man coverage has improved the most over the last year, and watching him mark several D1 caliber receivers on film, I tend to believe it. Against Bradwell Institute he blanketed a preseason All-State selection in 6-A, and did extremely well even stripping the ball out of from the 6’2″ 215 lbs. receiver to go along with a few nice breakups too.
Coley’s impressive acceleration makes a big difference, and he can really step-up quickly in the flat to make a tackle, which he does an excellent job of setting up his attempt with agile feet. He models his game after Jalen Ramsey, and you can see the 2020 recruit tries to make impact plays similar to his idol, and there is no-doubt, Coley has to be one of the top turnover-creators in 2-A thus far.
There is some legit upside to Coley’s game, and at the next level he can definitely make an impact right away on special teams as either a gunner or a returner, so it is only a matter of time before colleges catch on to the lightening-quick defender. Take a moment, watch his senior film, Coley can make an impact, so stay tuned to @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter for updates on the Dodge County senior to go along with other athletes across the Peach State.
Dodge County’s @NathanColeyJr1 earned Week 6’s Top Play with this amazing one-handed interception on the sideline! The athletic SR DB has been a ball-magnet in the early season creating turnovers every which way. @DodgeFootball #RecruitGeorgia
— Recruit Georgia (@RecruitGeorgia) October 3, 2019