Much like former Crimson Tide great Shaun Alexander, Coffee is a running back with a perfect mix of size and speed. He is not only effective between the tackles, but also showed with his long-distance runs in 2008 that he is perfectly capable of turning the corner and racing to the end zone.
A backup most of his career, Coffee made the most of his first opportunity to start during his junior campaign. His 1,383 rushing yards tied Alexander for the second-best season total in school history. He also showed good “pedigree” off the field, as he shared the 2008 Derrick Thomas Community Service Award with linebacker Cory Reamer, an honor awarded at the conclusion of spring practice.
The Fort Walton Beach High School graduate led his prep squad to the District 2-4A title and an appearance in the regional championship game as a senior. He rushed for 1,886 yards that season, adding 350 yards receiving while amassing a total of 29 touchdowns. As a junior, he scored seven times and generated 850 yards on 132 carries, as he also caught 18 balls for 275 yards and four more scores.
Coffee enrolled at Alabama in 2005 and saw considerable action in 12 games as a reserve. He rushed 48 times for 179 yards (3.7 avg.) and caught eight passes for 91 yards (11.4 avg.), including a touchdown. He added 25 yards on two kickoff returns, finishing his first year in a Tide uniform with 295 all-purpose yards.
Looking to claim the starting tailback position in 2006, Coffee spent the season in rehabilitation rather than on the football field. He missed spring drills with an ankle injury and also underwent hernia surgery. During August camp, he suffered right knee ligament damage and a bone bruise. Even though he did not require surgery, the staff decided that with the depth the Tide had in the running unit, that it was best that Coffee be granted a medical hardship.
Coffee started three of the nine games he appeared in during the 2007 campaign. He was suspended for four midseason games as part of the university-wide textbook scandal, but still finished second on the team with 545 yards and four touchdowns on 129 rushing attempts (4.2 avg.). He snatched 18 passes for 142 yards (7.9 avg.), made a pair of tackles and produced 687 all-purpose yards.
As a senior, Coffee earned All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors. Despite a late-season hip bruise, he finished second on the school season-record list with 1,383 yards on 233 carries (5.9 avg.), finding the end zone 10 times. He also gained 118 yards with a score on 16 receptions and delivered two tackles. His yards per rushing attempt average of 5.94 yards also rank second on the Tide’s annual record chart.
Attended Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) High School, leading his prep squad to the District 2-4A title and an appearance in the regional championship game as a senior…Rushed for 1,886 yards that season, adding 350 yards receiving while amassing a total of 29 touchdowns… As a junior, he scored seven times and generated 850 yards on 132 carries, as he also caught 18 balls for 275 yards and four more scores.
Positives: Well-built athlete. A bit of a slasher. Sees the hole and shows surprising burst to it, considering his height. Can make defenders miss in the open field, but seems to prefer physically taking them on at times. Lowers his shoulder into the defender and looks to intimidate. Runs with a chip on his shoulder. Good acceleration through the second level of the defense and into the open field. At least adequate straight-line speed. Good vision at the second level for the cutback. Experienced receiver out of the backfield. Good upper-body strength and effort as a pass blocker. Has been a weight room monster since high school. Has matured during his college career, and is now a faith-driven leader and sought-after speaker in the community.
Negatives: Has a bit of an odd build for a running back. Thin hips, and though well built he lacks the bulk in his core and lower body that scouts prefer for a power runner. Runs a bit upright, which just adds to the concern regarding his build and power-running. Likes to run over defenders, but too often goes down on contact. Suspended for four games in 2007 as part of an Alabama textbook scandal. Redshirted 2006 with a knee injury.
2006: Missed most of April camp with an ankle sprain…Underwent surgery (5/31) to repair an athletic hernia…Suffered a bone bruise and a severe right knee medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligament sprain in August camp (8/14) and was granted a medical hardship.
2007: Suffered a slight shoulder contusion vs. Vanderbilt (9/08).
2008: Missed the bulk of the second half vs. Arkansas State (11/01) with a bruised hip.