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Friday, September 6, 2013

Brandon Coleman, Lorenzo Waters' road from Accokeek, Md., to Rutgers, Part 3

Bishop McNamara's field, now named after NFL alum Tyoka Jackson, served as the site of an important 2009 meeting between Brandon Coleman's Mustangs and Lorenzo Waters' DeMatha. (Tyler Barto)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Part 1 — Part 2

FORESTVILLE, Md. — The only play Brandon Coleman remembers is the one he most wants to forget.

There were many others in a 10-7 loss at home to DeMatha, one in which McNamara led, 7-3, through much of the fourth quarter. Like many others, Coleman had the ball in his hands.

This time, he was trying to give it to someone else.

“We called a reverse pass for Brandon,” high school coach Bryce Bevill said. “We had him throughout the course of the year run reverse just to set this up. He came and I saw it in his eyes. He was very excited. I didn’t follow my first mind on that one. I wanted to tell him, ‘Just make sure he catches the ball, just put it in an area where he can catch the ball.’ But I didn’t, and Brandon got the ball.”

Brandon Coleman is immortalized at McNamara.
(Tyler Barto)
Coleman ran around end in DeMatha territory, surveying the field. He found a wide-open receiver downfield, launched a pass and waited.

What happened next depends on whom you ask.

“(Coleman) just threw the ball about 60 yards down the field, like way over his receiver,” said Lorenzo Waters, in coverage on the play. “It was wide open.”

“First of all, we were on the plus-40, so it wasn’t overthrown by 60 yards,” Coleman said, laughing. “I overthrew him maybe 10 yards. I got a little excited. He was too wide open. So much adrenaline was going on, and I gave it everything I had. I had no touch on it. It was all muscle.”

Each team dropped its final game of the season to Our Lady of Good Counsel, DeMatha in the conference championship game in Annapolis.

“I was so sick,” Coleman said. “We would’ve won the game. That would’ve killed it — their momentum, their loss. It was packed, senior game. Blew it.”

It was a rare moment of mortality for one of the area’s most talked about players.


Bryce Bevill places his hand on his chest, his eyes intent.

“Not to take anything away from Zach and Tracy,” he says, “but that’s like a proud father.”

Coleman and Waters arrived in Piscataway on June 27, 2010 — “I remember the day," Waters says, laughing, "the day my whole life changed.”

Now Coleman, who lists Bevill in his inner circle, is two touchdown receptions from tying Rutgers’ school record. A third Saturday would give him the mark in less than three seasons.

DeMatha Athletic Director Ed King adjusts a fallen
plaque. DeMatha keeps extra trophies in a private
building. (Tyler Barto)
Elijah Brooks, the rival coach at DeMatha, says Coleman is a sure NFL first-round pick whenever he decides to leave Rutgers. Many agree with him.

“He always stood out as a player that was going to what he’s doing in college now,” Brooks said.

A few minutes down Indian Head Highway, Waters has carved his own niche at a school with a final shot at a BCS berth.

He was forced to contend with the ghosts of DeMatha past, from Sidney Lowe to Brian Westbrook to the droves of athletes with area pedigree. Years later, he has the second-most starts on Rutgers’ defense.

It is as much a testament to Prince George County itself as it is to two kids from Accokeek.

"It definitely brings a lot of pride to our area, being that we can go out there and our thing, and people can watch on TV and recognize who we are,” Waters said. “We represent them.”

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