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2022 NFL Prospect Interview: Kholbe Coleman-Abrams, LB, Southern Illinois

Kholbe Coleman-Abrams is an experienced LB who brings his quickness to Southern Illinois this season as a graduate transfer from Bowling Green. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Kholbe Coleman-Abrams
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 230 lbs.
  • Position: LB
  • College: Southern Illinois University
  • Twitter: @Kholbes_Life
  • Instagram: @kholbe_coleman

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I obtained my undergrad at Bowling Green in Individualized Studies, taking many Business and Leadership classes. I’m currently pursuing a Masters in Education Administration at Southern Illinois. I hope to one day be a school principal. My inspiration comes from my father being a high school head coach. Maybe I’ll be a teacher and coach football like him when my football career is over. I like being in a leadership role where I have the ability to change lives.

Outside of football, I was able to help host a talent show for people with special needs. I did that for a couple years and even shared some of my poetry on the mic.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
I take pride in my ability to tackle and shed blocks.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m a very athletic LB that is very experienced. I started my last 29 games at Bowling Green and was named Third Team All-MAC my last 2 seasons. I had 3 different defensive coordinators during my time at Bowling Green. I’ve learned how to pick up new defenses quickly and be able to play in any scheme. Throughout my experience, I’ve mostly been used as a WLB or MLB in a 4-3 scheme, and I’ve also played in a 4-2-5 as a MLB.

I take pride in my athleticism and my ability to play in man coverage. Right now at Southern Illinois, I’m being used on 3rd downs, coming in to cover athletic TEs or even blitzing the QB. I’m also very physical at the point of attack.

As I said, shedding blocks is one of the best things I do, and that really comes in handy on special teams. I enjoy special teams, coming down the field with such ferocity and aggression. I like running down on punts and getting in the face of returners. I feel like my technique on special teams is elite.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
My sophomore year, we played against Oregon. Justin Herbert is such a special player. He was untouchable in the pocket and also had the athleticism to use his legs. His ability to throw the ball is just not something that everyone else can do.

In the MAC, one of our competitors was Buffalo. Jaret Patterson was an impressive RB for them. They had some good players on that offensive line too. Patterson would get lost behind them and had the patience to find the whole. If he was able to get to the second level, he was often gone. Such a compact, squirmy player who was tough to tackle.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
We had some young talent at Bowling Green that I was able to watch evolve. Darren Anders is another LB there. He plays fast, and I expect him to have a breakout season this year. Sy Dabney is a hard-nosed safety that used to be a corner. He has good cover skills and is very rangy.

Since being at Southern Illinois, the most impressive player that I have seen is Bryce Notree who is the leader of the linebacker group. He has such a big stature at about 6’3 with long arms. He’s a very passionate player who plays fast. He’s also very smart and has a high IQ for the game.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
What comes to mind is my sophomore season is 2018 when I was battling a labrum tear. I had played with it the whole season without missing a game. The 2nd game of the season, I had hurt it even more and still continued to play. We didn’t have much depth that season with a lot of young players and one of our guys being out with a suspension. I loved my team and had the will and determination to stick with it and work through the pain. I pushed through the remaining games of the season, and we ended up winning the final 4 games.

After the season was over, I had my surgery. It was hard to sit out that Spring, watching my boys on the field, preparing for the next season. I put in as much work on my shoulder as possible, doing as much physical therapy as I could and putting in extra days. I battled a bit of depression watching my teammates. I was persistent in my goal of playing again the following year. At the beginning of the 2019 season, I was ready to play and didn’t miss any games. I ended up with my best season to date, going over the 100 tackle mark for the first time in my career.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I would probably run track. I used to run the 200m and the 110m hurdles in high school. I feel like track helped me with my burst in football, getting off of blocks and being a fast LB.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I am most proud of graduating college. My parents set the example for me to prioritize my academics.

As a football player, I was able to obtain All-MAC accolades for 2 years in a row and was able to get 103 tackles in 2019 without a postseason.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My best highlight came in 2019 during our game opener against Morgan State. It was a perfect play. I was coming off the edge while the QB was running a play action boot. I nailed him, sending the ball flying backwards about 10 yards. Everyone was racing towards the fumble, and I was able to fall on it to get the turnover.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite NFL team is the New Orlean Saints. I try to model my game after LBs like Demario Davis and Devin White. Demario Davis is very smart and instinctual. He plays fast and does everything well. He and Devin White are the type of LBs that you can always keep on the field. Devin White is one of those guys that affects the QB and plays coverage to perfection. 

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artists include Rylo Rodriguez and Big30. Before games, I like to listen to “Aks and the Drums” by Rylo Rodriguez and Big30’s “Back Seat of the Rolls Truck.”

What is your favorite comfort food?
I love Moe’s BBQ. Whether it be the wings platter, chicken sandwiches or pulled pork, it’s all good to me.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
Some of my favorite movies include The Friday After Next and Home Alone. Power and Breaking Bad are two of my favorite TV shows. Will Smith is my favorite actor.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I enjoy poetry. I like watching live shows on YouTube, and that inspires me to write. I enjoy being creative and putting words together.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play for the love of the game. My mom put me in football very early at about the age of 3. When I’m playing ball, I just believe that that’s where I’m supposed to be.

My parents motivate me a lot. They sacrificed so much for me to play football, go to college and get an education. I’d love to pay them back for all the hours that they’ve spent investing in me. My mom has especially given up a lot in order for me to play high school football in Alabama and eventually get recruited to play division one football.

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