|Bryce Bevill, now in student-athlete development at Maryland, was Brandon Coleman's coach at Bishop McNamara. When Coleman mulls the NFL, Bevill will be involved. (Tyler Barto)|
By Tyler Barto
Part 1 — Part 3
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The
remnants of Coleman’s legend are now rooted in a small corner office at Maryland’s
football facility in College Park.
Bevill, Brandon Coleman’s coach at McNamara, sits there, wearing a black Terrapins
polo, slacks and black dress shoes. He recalls stories that are equal parts
tall tales and rooted in truth.
timing the guys in the 40, and Brandon runs a low 4.6, high 4.5,” Bevill said
of Coleman’s sophomore year. “The unique thing about thing about it was he ran
it in like 16, 17 steps.”
A Pop Warner coach on Bevill’s staff tipped him on Coleman, who by that point
was already 6-foot-1 in eighth grade. Bevill was sold.
tough part would be selling Coleman.
course DeMatha was on ESPN,” McNamara president Marco Clark said. “That makes it tough from a recruiting
standpoint. It makes it tough when a 13-year-old boy looks and sees, ‘Oh, I get
the opportunity to play on national TV.’
Bevill: “If I heard about him, I know DeMatha’s heard about him.”
stuck with McNamara, arguably its biggest coup in recent memory. With Coleman
at receiver as a senior, McNamara breezed through one of its best seasons to
added four inches to his frame that year. Tales of his play grew with it.
put him back at safety, and dagnabit he was a very, very good safety. We were
playing Cover 3, and Brandon was in the deep middle,” Bevill said of the St.
Albans game. “The quarterback is scrambling and Brandon comes out of the deep
middle and literally in four steps he covered about 25 yards. … It’s just
something you couldn’t coach.”
games later, Coleman would line up against Waters, whom he says he met for the
first time as a junior.
was 8-1. DeMatha hadn’t lost yet.
would forget what happened next.
Prince George’s County, all roads lead back to DeMatha.
|Prominent DeMatha alums, like the Dolphins' Cameron Wake, drape the school's new weight room facility. |
Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power has ruled the roost for more than
three decades. Its sprawling Hyattsville campus — complete with a new
convocation center that doubles as its basketball arena — is proof.
McNamara’s former coach, played running back and was an assistant there. Clark,
McNamara’s president, coached defense under famed Bill McGregor.
been known for athletics for years and years and years,” said Bevill, a DeMatha
assistant when current coach Elijah Brooks was a running back there. “Morgan Wootten is
a name that’s synonymous with basketball. … A lot of guys went to DeMatha to
play basketball. (The key was) getting those guys to understand your future is
not in basketball, but you can play the game of football and get a free ride.”
pine for an opportunity to play there. Few times does DeMatha go knocking. When
it did in fall 2005, it wasn’t for Lorenzo Waters.
freshman assistant named Lawrence Waters — no relation — was in nearby Laurel
to scout Beltway League players Arie and Cyrus Kouandijo. They now occupy the
left side of Alabama’s offensive line. Cyrus is a likely top pick should he
leave Tuscaloosa, Ala., after this season.
|DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks, an alum, often tested|
Lorenzo Waters in practice. (The Gazette)
Lawrence Waters left raving about this unknown player. And DeMatha wouldn’t
leave without him.
Waters tells that story all the time,” Brooks said. “(Lorenzo) was dominating,
Waters moved quickly through the ranks at DeMatha, gaining attention on a team
with players destined for Iowa and the SEC, among other stops. But it didn’t
come without sacrifice.
drives dotted Waters’ schedule. He woke up each morning at 5:30 to give himself
enough time to make the 30-mile trip to DeMatha.
far. They were rough — every morning, waking … just so I can get there and sit
in D.C. traffic,” Waters said. “Sometimes it took over an hour to get to
player teammates called “Striker ’Zo” wasn’t immune to legend, either.
["A lot of guys went to DeMatha to play basketball. (The key was) getting those guys to understand ... you can play ... football and get a free ride." — Bryce Bevill]
a running backs coach at the time, often chided Waters, one of DeMatha’s best
defensive players, telling him he couldn’t match up with opposing backs. When
it happened again as a junior, Waters told Brooks he’d knock the helmet off a
running back from rival Gonzaga.
told him, ‘Listen, man. There’s no way in the world you’ll be able to do
something like that,’” Brooks said. “And sure enough, the kid ran an iso and
(Waters) filled from the safety position. And he knocked his helmet off and he
pointed at me on the sidelines. There was nothing I could say, (but) give him
beat Gonzaga, 35-6.
would meet a far more imposing match in 2009 at Bishop McNamara.
Labels: Bishop McNamara, Brandon Coleman, Bryce Bevill, DeMatha, Elijah Brooks, Lorenzo Waters