High School Football

This 4-star recruit the reason 62 football programs visited this DFW school over summer

Something special is bound to happen anytime J.D. Coffey steps onto a football field.

Seven times a season ago, Kennedale’s 4-star safety picked off a pass, which led to him being named to the all-area defensive team. That came after he was listed on the Associated Press Class 4A all-state team as a freshman when he helped the Wildcats to the 4A Division I state title game in 2017.

Coffey has quickly risen up the ranks of top players in the country.

“He’s very coachable. That’s one of the good things about him and separates JD from other kids,” Kennedale coach Richard Barrett said. “He’s a good kid and very pleasant to be around.”

Coffey is ranked as the No. 4 safety in the 2021 class and the top overall safety in Texas, according to 247Sports.

He holds 15 offers from Texas, Notre Dame, Florida, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Colorado, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Utah, Houston, Tulsa, Utah State and Illinois State.

“He had a great spring and summer, and we had 62 colleges come and visit us in the offseason. Word gets out,” Barrett said. “JD has great athleticism. He’s long, tall, fast and has great ball skills and instincts, and those are the reasons so many schools are interested in him. He’s going to be a prize for somebody.”

Longhorns impressed Coffey on visit to Austin

Coffey went to a few camps over the summer, but one that stood out was Texas. He went on a visit to Austin in June and the next day was offered by head coach Tom Herman.

“I had a really nice camp and workout when I went down there,” Coffey said. “It was a great feeling to get offered, especially from another school in my home state.

“The coaches told me I had nice footwork and great technique. I’m just going to continue to get better.”

Coffey expects to be at a few college games this season, but his focus is on Kennedale.

“Focused on the season, I’m not too worried about recruitment right now,” he said. “I’m one of the defensive captains on the team and one of my roles is to make sure everyone is doing their job. There’s still a lot I can do. I’m just going to try to have a better season than last year.”

13 interceptions in two seasons

Coffey is ranked as the No. 35 recruit in the state among the 2021 class and is projected to commit with Texas, according to 247Sports lead expert Gabe Brooks.

“Anything he’s involved in, JD has high expectations for himself,” defensive coordinator Jody Littleton said. “He understands the game and applies it to the field. His intangibles and ball skills, and knack for making plays are some of the best I’ve coached.

“He’s a very special young man and works hard at what he does.”

Coffey recorded 10 or more tackles in six games as a freshman. He has 13 interceptions in two seasons, but could see more time in the return game in 2019.

“He’ll return some punts for us this season,” Barrett said. “We free him up on defense, he’s out there playing center field and reading the QB. He can make a pass deflection or game-saving tackle or interception. He’ll make plays for us and it’s nice to have him back there.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.