CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- B.J. Coleman is a little less "under the radar" these days with less than a month left before the NFL Draft.
From being mentioned on ESPN by draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr., to being listed as the No. 3 overall "small school prospect" by Optimum Scouting, the former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback is drawing some positive reviews.
Of course, he hasn't heard many of them.
"People have told me, but I haven't watched too much TV," Coleman said with a smile following a workout at Finley Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. "I don't do much TV watching or look anything up (online), but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't cool to be mentioned and be a part of it."
Coleman might have been an even bigger part of the pre-draft discussion had a fractured pinky finger on his throwing hand not sidelined him for February's NFL Combine.
Despite a cast on his hand, the former McCallie standout still made the trip to Indianapolis to go through interviews with teams and participate in a few non-throwing drills.
The experience left him confident his window of opportunity was still wide open.
"You want to throw, you want to compete and put yourself up there on that stage by being able to throw, but it's not the end of the world," he said. "Talking to those guys, they said the biggest thing is getting healthy and being ready for your pro day and beyond that."
That's his focus this week as he wraps up his preparations for next Monday's UTC Pro Day.
He's been spending at least an hour each day this week throwing with Red Bank grad and former Tennessee Tech standout Tim Benford, and Western Michigan tight end Dallas Walker.
The trio, which will join Coleman for the pro day next week, say he hasn't missed a beat.
"Playing with him in the East-West Shrine Game, that was my first time playing with him on the same team. From there to here, I don't think he had an injury. I think he was faking it, for real," joked Benford.
Former UTC wideout Joel Bradford joined the group for the first time Wednesday. He's been catching passes from Coleman since their high school days, and he'd know if something was off.
"He had the shoulder injury during the season and then that freak finger injury, but I think now he's back into the rhythm of things," Bradford said. "He feels good and feels fast in the pocket, so from my opinion throwing and catching right, it feels the same."
Coleman has honed his footwork, accuracy and arm strength in three months of workouts and film study in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, that included a few visits with future NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
He expects a few butterflies when he wakes up Monday morning, but he feels like he's put himself in the best position to make a lasting impression on NFL scouts.
"The biggest thing is just to go out, have a good time and just sling it around the yard," Coleman said. "Playing NFL football is something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember playing, so to have that opportunity and dream this close, you just gotta keep rolling. Keep chasing it and getting better until one day they tell you that you can't do it anymore."
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