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Dan River’s three-star Coleman verbally commits to UVA

Dressed in a white t-shirt emblazoned with an image of himself in his Dan River football jersey and the logos of over a half-dozen Division I team, Dan River senior Ty’Lyric Coleman stood in front of a large contingency of his friends and family members Saturday afternoon at Ballou Park …

Dan River senior wide receiver/safety Ty’Lyric Coleman holds up his jersey after his verbal commitment to UVA Saturday afternoon. PHOTO: Davin Wilson/River City Sports.

Dressed in a white t-shirt emblazoned with an image of himself in his Dan River football jersey and the logos of over a half-dozen Division I team, Dan River senior Ty’Lyric Coleman stood in front of a large contingency of his friends and family members Saturday afternoon at Ballou Park.

As evidenced by his shirt, featuring logos from Elon, East Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Georgetown, James Madison, Wake Forest and Virginia, Coleman had a plethora of options when it came to where he wanted to continue his football career.

However, in the spirit of “Highlander,” there could only be one school and Coleman and his family had gathered everybody to the park to let them know where he was going.

In the end, the wide receiver/safety announced he was taking his talents to the University of Virginia in the fall of 2023.

While the actualization of a dream can sometimes be a letdown compared to the fantasy, Coleman found the moment to be greater than what he imagined.

“I feel good, it’s really surreal, I’ve been dreaming about this since I was little,” Coleman said. “It’s great, I’m happy.”

Coleman’s parents, mom LaToya Motley and dad Marcquis Coleman, have been there every step of the way. Therefore, it only made sense they were on hand for their son’s announcement and found the moment just as surreal.

“It’s awesome, we truly are blessed,” Motley said. “It was our top choice for him as well. When we visited, it just fit. It truly felt like home.”

Marcquis concurred and added, “It’s close to home, not too far, he’s still in the state and it was kind of like home, not really that different from Danville.”

In an interview not long after being hired, new UVa. head coach Tony Elliott commented on how he and his staff were not only dedicated to building great football players, but great young men as well.

While many coaches have these exact words included in their recruitment speeches, not all of them mean it. However, it didn’t take long for Coleman to see that wasn’t the case with Elliott and his staff.

“I like the fact they just don’t focus on football,” he said. “It’s about being a man and it’s about family there so that was a big plus.”

A high school student-athlete’s first visit to a perspective school can be a nerve-wrecking experience. However, Coleman’s future teammates made sure his first trip was a blast.

“It was good, they welcomed me in with open arms, made sure I had a good time and made sure I felt like family,” he said.

Speaking of family …

In the 1986 comedy “Club Paradise,” Jack Moniker (Robin Williams) teams up with reggae singer Ernest Reed (Jimmy Cliff) to open a tropical resort.

Frustrated with local eccentrics, pushy guests and crooked politicians and land developers, Moniker loses it, but is quickly calmed down by his girlfriend Philadelphia (Ziggy) who tells him, “No man is an island, Jack.”

While Coleman’s life isn’t a movie about opening a tropical resort, he can still relate to the phrase as he’s had quite the support staff over the years, starting with his parents.

“They raised me to be a great young man,” he said. “They told me it was okay not to fit in with the crowd and that it was okay to be different and to be myself. I want to thank them for believing in me, the sacrifices they made for me to get here and this is my payback to them. They always make sure I stay on top of things, stay on top of my school.”

Of course, Coleman made things easy on Motley and Marcquis and Saturday’s verbal commitment was the first step in seeing their son’s obedience pay off.

“It just confirms what we’ve always believed in,” Motley said. “We come together as co-parents to make sure he has everything he needs and we push him to strive and to be great every day because that’s what we expect out of him, greatness, and so far he hasn’t let us down.”

“I always test him, I always tell him don’t settle for anything,” Marcquis said. “If that’s your goal, go for it. I’ve never tried to hold him back from anything and it’s starting to pay off.”

Coleman played for former NFL player Ferrell Edmunds his first year at Dan River and has spent the past two years playing under the tutelage of current coach Brian Womack. Along with his parents, Coleman credits his success to both.

“They always believed in me and never let me settle for mediocrity and always wanted me to put in 100 percent in everything I do and that’s played a huge part in my success as well,” Coleman said.

24/7Sports rates the 6’3”, 175-pound athlete, who also plays basketball, as the №40 recruit in Virginia and 132 athlete in the country in the class of 2023.

Coleman’s versatility showed last year as he recorded a team-highs in receptions (36), receiving yards (699) and receiving touchdowns (seven). He also recorded a team-high seven interceptions and recovered a fumble for Dan River last season.

After starting last season at wide receiver, Coleman moved over to safety where he became proficient in reading the quarterback and picking up on zone coverages on his way to leading the state in interceptions.

No doubt, it’s that versatility that led to him being recruited so heavily by UVa.

However, according to Coleman, his talent isn’t the only thing he’ll be bringing to Charlottesville.

“Hard work, I’m willing and ready to work,” he said. “I don’t want anything handed to me. From Day One, they’re going to get a worker.”

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