"I chose to attend Duke University because the quality of academics there is as good as any in the country. Also, the coaching staff is changed and much improved. They are getting better each year and I want to be a part of it," said Coleman.
In the top ten percent of his class, Coleman has a 4.3-grade point average. He is an honor roll student, Beta Club member, and belongs to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is also a Life and Palmetto Scholar.
Coleman is also active in his community. He is an Eagle Scout; the highest rank in Boy Scouts. Through his Eagle Scout journey he has done numerous community service projects including building picnic tables from scratch for the Presbyterian Retirement House, collecting canned foods for the needy during Thanksgiving and Christmas times and assisting Meals on Wheels deliver food to the elderly who are unable to go out and buy groceries themselves. Since the ninth grade, Coleman has put in over 130 hours of community service through the Boy Scouts.
With his school, Coleman is also involved with the "Knight Readers." Through this program, Coleman and a group of his teammates from West Florence High School read to first and second graders once a week at local elementary schools. He also assisted the Beta Club with a program entitled "Operation Christmas Boxes," in which they fill shoe boxes with assorted items to be given to children in third world countries.
Finally, Coleman also finds ways to help his community through his church, St. Johns Episcopal of Florence. He helped to renovate the church and volunteered to help with the children's activities at Vacation Bible School, among other things.
"John is a great kid who is extremely hard working both on and off the field. He cares about the people around him and is mature beyond his age. He is a blessing to have on our football team, in our school, and in our community," said West Florence head football coach Trey Woodberry.
During this high school football season, the Carolina Panthers will select ten Community Captains based on nominations received from high school administrators and media representatives. Recipients will receive an authentic Carolina Panthers Community Captain jersey and have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events during the current academic year. Recipients will be honored during an on-field ceremony at the Panthers home game versus the Denver Broncos on December 14, 2008 at Bank of America Stadium.
The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes outstanding high school football student-athletes in North and South Carolina who have demonstrated strong leadership skills on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The program encourages these future college and NFL players to continue in their positive development as leaders and role models in their communities.