Signing day brings out emotions for Holy Trinity trio

Coleman, Nickson, Odenat Jr. sign National Letters of Intent


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It was a big day for Holy Trinity seniors (from l-44) Lino Odenat Jr.,Dru Nickson and

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Emotions were running high at Holy Trinity Wednesday afternoon as the trio of Seth Coleman, Dru Nickson and Lino Odenat Jr. all signed their National Letter of Intent to play college athletics.

For Nickson, who signed to play basketball at Embry-Riddle, it was the realization of dream he’s had since he was four years old.

For Coleman, it was the culmination of a wild ride that saw him go from not playing football his junior year, to becoming a four-star recruit and one of the top 300 prospects in the country as a senior. He signed with Illinois.

And then there was Lino Odenat, who was completely off the recruiting radar when he arrived at the school two years ago. His signing with Jacksonville University was a tribute not only to his hard work and the effort of the Tigers football coaching staff, but also to his father, Lino Odenat Sr., and his mother, Latesha Jordan, who passed away just before he turned 13.

“At first, I was depressed. I was down,” Odenat said. “Then my dad talked to me. He said, “Use that hurt as positive energy. Try to use that as motivation.’ That’s what I did.”

In the end, Odenat had five offers to choose from. What sold him on Jacksonville was the feeling of a “brotherhood” during his visit and the fact that he liked the city. The defensive back plans to major in business and marketing.

“Nobody knew who I was (when I got here),” he said. “But I planned on signing since I was a freshman. That was my goal, to go to college for football.

“This day meant a lot to me. I love the game. I love to be part of a team.”

During his introduction of Coleman, Holy Trinity coach Nate Hooks Jr. pointed out that when the defensive end decided to come out for his senior year after not playing as a junior, Coleman had a few questions. Chief among them, would he be able to get a college scholarship?

Well, it wasn’t long after the 6-foot-5, 200-pound defensive end with a 6-10 wingspan was getting offers from all over the country.

“I wasn’t expecting much at first, and then everything just blew up,” Coleman said. “It feels great. All the hard work paid off.”

After a season in which he had 101 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 13 sacks, Coleman was recently bumped up to a four-star recruit by 247Sports.

Getting a chance to sign on the same day as Nickson and Odenat Jr. made it that much more special for Coleman, who plans to study engineering at Illinois.

“I’ve known Dru since forever and I’ve been getting close with Lino,” Coleman said. “It was just emotional for everybody.”

Nickson, who along with Coleman became part of Holy Trinity’s 1,000-point club this season, has been dreaming of playing college basketball ever since he started playing the game.

He committed to Embry-Riddle in large part because of the school’s commitment to him. He plans to major in business or engineering.

“I went on a visit there and I really liked the campus,” he said. “The coaches have been recruiting me the longest. They told me I was their No. 1 choice. That meant a lot to me.”

The Tigers star guard started getting a little emotional during the signing ceremony when talking about the support he has received from his family. After all, none of them would have gotten this far without it.

“It was just a huge milestone,” Nickson said of signing day. “All of our lives, we’ve all had this dream. It feels really good for all the hard work to pay off.”