Florence (Ala.) teammates and cousins Beniquez Brown and Kivon Coman each signed a national letter of intent with Mississippi State in 2012.
That fall, Brown began his career with the Bulldogs while Coman had to take a detour to Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy for a semester to get his grades in order.
“I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to get to,” Coman said. “I just put it in my mind that I had to do what I had to do and I am blessed to be here.”
While at Hargrave, Coman endured early morning marches and was subjected to a strict military lifestyle but considered part of the process to realize his goal of suiting up at MSU.
“It was hard but so is life,” Coman said. “You’re always going through obstacles. I’m truly blessed that I got to go there and have that opportunity. If I didn’t go there, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”
Coman was rated a three-star safety out of both high school and prep school. In his one season at Hargrave, he made 57 tackles, forced and recovered a fumble and was tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
When he arrived in Starkville in the spring of 2013, Coman was shifted to cornerback for a short time but was moved back to his natural safety position the following fall.
“I’m comfortable and happy to be back there,” Coman said. “Corner is just totally different. I tried to learn it as hard as I could when I came in. Once (Jay Hughes) went down with his Achilles when I was a freshman, I moved to safety and it’s been on from there.”
The 6-foot-3, 196-pounder has seen action in 28 games over the last three seasons, making 70 tackles, 2 ½ for loss, six pass breakups and one fumble recovery.
Now that Hughes has graduated, Coman has moved into a starting role at safety. He has made 16 stops in the first three games and led the Bulldogs with a career-high seven tackles and a half tackle for loss on a fake field goal against Northwestern State last weekend.
Coman reunites with Brown as starters on State’s defense and the two share a communication connection that cannot be taught.
“It’s a bond we have from growing up together,” Coman said. “It’s unbelievable. We can feel each other and know what each other is thinking without even saying a word. We can give each other a look and know that it’s time to go. We both know what we’re here for and what we have to take care of.”
Coman had two opportunities to sign elsewhere during the recruiting process earning offers from Arkansas State, South Alabama, South Florida and Tennessee but believes he made the right choice – even if it did require a little extra work to arrive.
“I’m very happy here,” Coman said. “It’s like a family here. Everywhere you go, people knows you and encourages you. I went to other places and they preached family but I didn’t feel it. Here I do.”
Coman and the Bulldogs venture out on the road for the first time in conference play this weekend traveling to Auburn. He made three stops against the Tigers last year and likes his team’s chances on the plains.
“I think we match up pretty well with them,” Coman said. “Across the board, our defense is getting better each and every day. I think if we go down there and take care of business everything else will take care of itself.”