Winona quarterback Andarious Coffey went to the Ole Miss football camp this past weekend.
It didn’t take head coach Matt Luke long to call Winona head coach Joey Tompkins and ask him about Coffey, who is the first player to be featured in The Winona Times Top 11 Players to watch for the upcoming football season.
After talking with Tompkins, it didn’t take Luke long to give Coffey his first SEC scholarship offer. Coffey also has offers from Southern Mississippi and South Alabama.
“Ole Miss is really high on him,” Tompkins said. “When Matt called me the other day, he asked me to tell him about Andarious. I told him, the kid is a good football player but a better kid. He said Coach (Mike) McIntyre was ecstatic about him and they were about to do something. They offered him on Sunday.”
Coffey, who stands at 5-foot-11 and weighs 175 pounds, is coming off a monster season for the Tigers, where he accounted for more than 2,800 yards of total offense. Coffey rushed for 1,445 yards on 192 carries and 19 touchdowns while throwing for 1,401 yards on 91-of-188 passing with 16 touchdowns.
“He was no doubt our best threat offensively,’ Tompkins said. “Everything goes through him. He’s not a great passer and has to improve in that. He’s not going to make the mental mistakes. We expected him to have the season that he had last year.”
While Coffey is a standout on the field, Tompkins said Coffey is a better person.
“First, he is the best kid that I have ever coached as you can look for negatives as a person and you can’t find any,” Tompkins said. “He is one of a kind as far as a young man. He gets it. He is very easy to coach and a great leader. And he is a great football player on top of that.”
Tompkins said Ole Miss is recruiting Coffey as a defensive back. Coffey runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and has a 42-inch vertical jump. He benches 235 pounds and squats 400 pounds.
“He has an offer from Ole Miss now, not as a quarterback but as a defensive back,” Tompkins said. “He played cornerback for us as a sophomore. We can’t afford to get him on that side of the football and get him hurt. He is going to touch the ball on every play for us and when it comes down to it, we are going to rely on him offensively.”
Now that Coffey has an offer from Ole Miss, Tompkins feels like other offers are like to come.
“He has also got offers from South Alabama and Southern Miss,” Tompkins said. “I don’t think there is any doubt that Mississippi State will offer him. Hopefully, he’s going to get good guidance at home and we will do our best here to give him good guidance. He’s not a kid that is going to get distracted by things like this, that’s just the type of kid he is. It won’t bother him.”
Coffey said he has made a 17 on the ACT and has a 3.7 GPA. Coffey said he would take his time in a making his college choice.
“I just want to look at the academics at each school because I want something to be able to fall back on,” Coffey said. “I want to look for the right degree at the right home. I’ve thought about going into physical therapy or perhaps become a coach. The academics are really important to me.”
The Tigers finished 13-1 last season and lost in the third round of the Class 3A playoffs to Seminary. With 17 seniors gone from last year’s team, Coffey realizes he has more of a leadership role to take on.
“It’s going to take a lot of discipline and these guys have confidence in themselves,” Coffey said. “We have to know that we are one and we are not on their own. I always wanted to be a leader and last year I stepped up and became that guy. As a junior they looked up to me as a leader. It was a blessing to lead a group of guys like that. But this is a new group of players.”
When talking about Coffey, Tomkins said Coffey is a one-of-a-kind player.
“You can’t explain it but he’s a kid that you never have to worry about,” Tompkins said. “You have some kids that have bad days and want to question you as an adult. But you never get that out of him. I have never seen that. He’s one of a kind. He’s a guy that is going to do it how you want, when you want and if he doesn’t understand he’s going to ask you how you want it done. He’s top notch. He’s a special kid.”