I spoke to Althoff Catholic’s wide receiver C.J. Coldon about 7on7, his schools of interest and what his team is doing to get back to the state championship game.
You can find C.J. on Twitter @CEASSZN21
Wt: 175 lbs
Commitment status: Undecided
LPI: What are the most important things you and your team did this offseason and are now doing in practice so you guys can improve this season?
CC: The most important thing is really gelling together. We have a lot of new guys and a lot of young guys starting and coming in this year so we have to play together. At the end of the day we’ve learned to become a family and really listen to our coaches so I think we can do very well this year.
LPI: Where have you camped/showcased at this summer? Which camps do you think you stood out at the most and why
CC: I went to the Rivals camp, Iowa camp, and an Indiana team camp. The Indiana camp was a padded camp against different teams in Indiana. It was great because I caught the attention of head coach Kevin Wilson as well as wide receivers coach Kevin Johns and defensive backs coach Brandon Shelby. Coach Johns and coach Shelby said they’re going to be watching me this past offseason and this season so I’m very excited for that.
It was also a good experience playing teams from Indiana and other different areas and different states. That camp was early in the summer so we didn’t have all of our players because of injury, but we still performed very well.
If I had to choose I’d say the Indiana camp and Rivals camps went the best. I was rated #9 on the Fab 15 on offense at the Rivals camp and was given a 3 star ranking. I was very excited about that.
LPI: Were you on any 7on7 teams this year? If so, how did it go for you?
CC: I played for Midwest Boom. I didn’t know 7on7 could be as much fun and beneficial as it was. We played a lot of great teams and all types of competition. It was great way to get out there in the offseason, get reps in and play a high level of competition.
LPI: You have offers from Bowling Green, Eastern Illinois, Miami of Ohio, New Mexico and Wyoming to name a few. Would you say there is some added pressure on you this season to exceed expectations?
CC: To be honest, I just play my own game and don’t worry about that stuff. I don’t really feel pressure on the football field. I just play the game the way I was taught and have always played. The offers don’t really mean anything when you’re on the field because the guy you’re going up against doesn’t care how many offers you have; he is always trying to attack you and beat you.
LPI: Out of all the schools that have offered you, which have shown the most interest in you?
CC: I like all of the schools that have offered me and appreciate the support from all of them. North Dakota State, New Mexico, Wyoming, Western Illinois, Bowling Green and Souther Illinois have shown me a lot of interest. I talk to them almost on a weekly basis. Cincinnati, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Indiana, Syracuse haven’t offered me, but have shown me a lot of interest and I keep in contact with them regularly.
LPI: Where have you visited most recently and do you have any visits coming up?
CC: Recently I went to a team 7on7 at Notre Dame, but that is the most recent visit I’ve been on. October 1st I’m going to North Dakota State and am really excited for that. I’m still planning more visits, but that’s all I have set right now.
LPI: What’s it like starting on varsity as a Sophomore? How did you deal with playing against kids a few years older than you?
CC: Everyone expects you to play at a high level. I’m lucky that I don’t get very nervous and don’t feel a lot of pressure. However, I’m not going to lie, I did have some butterflies in my stomach at first because I was just in little league playing kids my age while now I’m playing against older kids. It took me a little bit of time to get on the playing level I wanted to be on, but I eventually got there my sophomore year.
LPI: The guys finished great last year with a 9-0 record, but fell to a tough Chicago Phillips squad in the 4A state finals. How valuable is that state championship game experience to you and what are you and the Crusaders doing to make another deep run in the playoffs this year?
CC: We think about that game almost everyday. We don’t dwell on it, but we use it as motivation in practice or in the weight room so we can get back there this year. We don’t want to make the same mistakes we did last year. We really want to get coach Turner that ring. I think we have a great chance to get back there and do just that.
LPI: What are your greatest strengths or why should a school offer you?
CC: I’m tough, very competitive and will do whatever it takes to win. I’m a leader, a standup guy, and I’ll play whatever position is asked of me so I can help my team. Last year I played inside WR, outside WR, some RB, CB, FS, SS, some LB, PR and KR; I’m very versatile and can be an asset to a D1 program.
LPI: Jordan Goodwin, Jaylon Bester, Edwyn Brown and yourself are a few guys on your team that have D1 offers. Who are some players on your team that you believe have a chance to play at the next level, but are being overlooked by college scouts?
Bryson Strong: Bryson is my guy. We’ve been playing together since we’re 10. He will do whatever it takes to win just as I do. You want him on your team and I’m not just saying that because he’s my friend; he’s a great player. A head hunter on defense that has a distinct nose for the ball. Whoever he lines up against he’s always going to play hard, give it his all and be that dog do get the job done. Bryston is getting a bit overlooked because scouts think he’s too small, but he is a great player that a D1 program would be lucky to have.
Trey Mosley: This is Trey’s first year starting this year. He’s going to open a lot of eyes I can already tell. He’s very good at the QB position and he can take us far this year. He’s a senior that used to play OLB for us, but shifted strictly to QB so he can help us win ball games. Like myself, Trey is a gamer and will shift positions in a moments notice to help our team win.
Stephon Belt: I grew up with him as well. We always had the competitive fire in us to win. He’s a lot like Bryson. He doesn’t care who he lines up against he will get it done. He has more heart than everyone I know. He’s our starting SS and plays a little bit of OLB. Watch out for him this year.
Chris Branson: Chris is a quiet leader for us on and off the field. He’s got good size and moves especially well for his size. In my opinion, he’s one of, if not the best MLB in the area and possibly in the state.