As of Wednesday, Cameron Coffman had resigned himself to at least another semester and possibly another season in junior college. The Arizona Western quarterback had led his squad to the El Toro Bowl — which served as the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship game — before losing to East Mississippi Community College and was hopeful that would lead to some Division I offers.
It hadn’t throughout the fall and throughout the semester break so he headed back to Arizona from his home in Missouri for the spring semester. But on Thursday he got a call from Indiana assistants Kevin Johns and Seth Littrell with a scholarship offer. Indiana had never even spoken to him before, but without making a visit or even speaking to head coach Kevin Wilson, Coffman committed and started driving East, first looking to stop at his home in Raymore, Mo., then trying to reach Bloomington by Sunday night to start classes on Tuesday. When reached by the Herald-Times on Friday afternoon, he had just passed Amarillo, Texas.
“I was just praying God would open up the right opportunity for me,” Coffman said. “They called me and offered me. I committed and packed up all of my stuff.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder had several major Division I offers out of high school, with Arizona State, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska and Wyoming among those who were willing to give him a scholarship. Coffman though, said that both Alabama and Louisiana State had shown interest at camps and he tried to wait it out to see if he could play for one of the SEC powerhouses.
“I was waiting to see if they would offer me,” Coffman said. “I was thinking that would be really cool to play at one of those two schools in the SEC. They ended up dragging me out a little bit and not offering me and by that time it was too late to take some of the other offers I had. They had other guys commit.”
So Coffman went to Arizona Western where he threw for 2,244 yards and 21 touchdowns against just six interceptions, completing 61 percent of his passes and leading the school to an 11-0 start before the 55-47 loss in the championship. The Matadors run a complex pro-style offense, and coach Tom Minnick said Coffman excelled at making all of the right decisions.
“I kind of compare him to the kid at Alabama who won a national championship for them two years ago (Greg McElroy),” Minnick said. “He just gets the job done.”
Coffman said he should have no problem adjusting to the mostly spread offense Indiana is likely to run. He played in that sort of system as a senior in high school and said he felt comfortable with it.
“In the spread offense, a lot of weight is on the quarterback’s shoulders,” Coffman said. “Everythign runs through him. I like that. I like to have the weight on my shoulders every play. The offense goes as I go. I like to be the decision maker.”
Coffman played just one season at Arizona Western, so he has four seasons to play three at Indiana.