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Former TCU star Brandon Coleman is eager to start a new era with Washington Commanders

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TCU has a well-deserved reputation for deploying defensive backs in the NFL, but it may come as a surprise that the Horned Frogs have also become one of the better programs at developing offensive linemen.

Former team captain Brandon Coleman became the latest offensive lineman to enter early in the NFL draft after the Washington Commanders selected him in the third round last month.

With the selection of Coleman, the Horned Frogs currently have ten players on NFL rosters, tied with Alabama, Georgia, Wisconsin and one spot behind LSU. Coleman received the call from commanders, surrounded by his loved ones, at an AirBnB in Dallas.

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“It was just me, my family and a few friends who flew in from Germany,” Coleman said. “I was in the kitchen talking to my boys, I wasn’t even looking and then I heard the call. I don’t remember much, I was everywhere… They said they liked the way I was as a person and that I would fit right into their culture. I’m certainly happy to be there.”

Coleman, a former basketball player, said TCU was crucial in his development as an offensive lineman in the NFL.

“I think TCU is overlooked as an offensive line school,” Coleman said. “We were a great defensive school here with Gary Patterson and even now we have great defensive players as well and we do a great job on defense. To show that we also have offensive linemen that are still doing great over the years and even the guys that are coming out now like Steve (Avila), me, Andrew (Coker), Willis (Patrick).

“Coach (AJ) Ricker is doing a great job developing us and the future guys. (People) should definitely look out for TCU with offensive line play.”

Coleman appears to be following in the footsteps of Avila, a former teammate and close friend. Avila was drafted in the second round last season and made an immediate impact with the Los Angeles Rams as they had a bounce-back season and made the playoffs.

The situation in Washington will be very different for Coleman with a new head coach, offensive coordinator and of course a new quarterback at No. 2 overall pick Jayden Daniels.

Being there at the start of a new era for the Washington franchise is one of the many reasons Coleman was ecstatic when selected by the Commanders.

“I think it’s exciting because everyone has to get used to everything,” Coleman said. “The OC, the players, we all learn together. It’s cool to go through this process of learning a whole new offense with the vets that come in and learning from them how they adapt to that kind of thing.

Coleman’s versatility was a big reason he was able to shoot up draft boards after starting more than 30 games and logging well over 2,000 snaps during his playing career in Fort Worth.

Washington plans to start Coleman on offense, with the option of sliding him in to guard if necessary. As for how he will prepare for the move to the next level, Coleman has leaned on Avila for some much-needed wisdom after his successful rookie season.

“He was at my design party and was able to share that moment with me,” Coleman said. “He was the calmest because he experienced it last year. It was cool to have him there, he told me a lot of things over the last few months. We did everything together and I really appreciate him for sharing that with me.

“He just told me that when you go to these camps and OTAs, don’t let everything overwhelm you. At the end of the day it’s just football, yes it’s on a bigger scale against bigger athletes, but trust your own skills and learn as you go.”

Coleman understands that he doesn’t have to be perfect, just effective when it comes to protecting Daniels. At the time of the press conference, Coleman had yet to meet with Daniels, but the Commanders just completed their rookie minicamp last week.

The three days we spent together this weekend were hopefully the start of a strong relationship, both on and off the field. Coleman could barely contain his excitement about being on the same team as the Heisman Trophy winner.

“I’ve seen that guy play I don’t know how many,” Coleman said with a smile. “The things he can do, how versatile he is as a runner and with the passing game, you want that guy on your team and you want to protect that guy. It will definitely be fun to play with him.”

After a standout career at TCU, Coleman now has the opportunity to help one of the NFL’s historic franchises get back on track.

It’s an opportunity he’s dreamed about all his life.

“I’m excited to be there and get started. I love being a commander,” Coleman said.

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