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Texas’ notable number: UT assistant Andre Coleman's ties to Kansas State – and the number 95

Andre Coleman spent four seasons playing and six seasons coaching at Kansas State. He'll try to beat the Wildcats with Texas' receivers this weekend.

Each week this fall, we’re looking at a specific number that’s tied to Texas football.

This week’s notable number is 95 – the jersey number that Texas has assigned to freshman defensive lineman Alfred Collins. Senior tight end Cade Brewer has converted his 12 catches this season into 95 yards. The longest interception return in UT’s history was a 95-yarder by Jack Collins against Baylor in 1936.

Ninety-five also accounts for the number of receptions that Texas assistant coach Andre Coleman recorded over his four seasons as a Kansas State football player.

Coleman starred at Kansas State from 1990-93. While with the Wildcats, Coleman registered 95 receptions, 1,556 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches. Coleman was also a feared returner on special teams. His career average of 18.2 yards per play is still a school record.

An All-American kick returner in 1993, Coleman was selected in the third round of the 1994 NFL Draft. Coleman enjoyed a five-year NFL career – he scored on a 98-yard kickoff return for San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX – before he got into coaching.

Coleman eventually spent six years on the coaching staff at his alma mater and was the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator in 2018. Texas hired Coleman as an analyst for the 2019 season. He then coached the team’s receivers on an interim basis in the Alamo Bowl.

Following UT’s 38-10 upset of Utah, UT coach Tom Herman kept Coleman on his staff. Herman later said that departing receivers Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson vouched for Coleman's coaching credentials.

“We were doing different things to help get us prepared for the bowl game. We felt like we could have been doing this for a while, we felt like this could have helped us a lot,” Duvernay told the American-Statesman in March. “His attention to detail, he was getting the young guys going and brought a little edge and made people get things going. We feel like it would be good for the young guys and just ultimately help the receiver room out.”

Texas receiver Brennan Eagles catches a football over Iowa State's Datrone Young during the teams' matchup on Nov. 27. Eagles recorded a career-high 142 receiving yards in the 23-20 loss.

For the two seasons ahead of Coleman’s promotion, the instruction of the UT receivers was split between Drew Mehringer and Corby Meekins. When he was introduced to the local media, Coleman was asked if it would be better for the Texas receivers to be listening to one voice instead of two.

"I've never had two receiver coaches, I've always coached them all," Coleman said. "I think a consistent message is one (difference you'll see)."

Last season, Duvernay ranked third nationally with his 106 receptions. Johnson missed six games but still hauled in 38 passes. Add those catches up and that accounted for 47.1% of UTs catches in 2019.

Texas is spreading out the football more this season. Brennan Eagles and Joshua Moore are the team’s top targets, and they are responsible for 27.8% of the Longhorns’ receptions.

But despite having a senior and four-year starter at the quarterback position, Texas boasts only the fourth-best passing offense in the Big 12 (274.0 yards per game). The Texas receiving corps has been hindered by injuries to slot receivers Jordan Whittington and Jake Smith. Graduate transfers Tarik Black (Michigan) and Brenden Schooler (Oregon) have only combined for 21 catchers. Moore has cooled off after a hot start. Eagles leads Texas with his 24 receptions, a total bested by 14 players in the conference.

“I would say hit and miss, a little bit inconsistent,” Herman said when asked this week about the play of his receivers. “I thought Brennan Eagles had a whale of a game, obviously, against Iowa State.”

Texas has split its two 100-yard receiving games this season among Moore (127 vs. UTEP) and Eagles (142 vs. Iowa State).Whittington’s 10 receptions in a quadruple-overtime game against Oklahoma on Oct. 10 is a team-high in 2020.

On Saturday, UT (5-3, 4-3 Big 12) will travel to face a Kansas State team that is allowing 266.8 passing yards per game. Two receivers have topped 100 receiving yards against the Wildcats (4-5, 4-4). The most receptions allowed to an opponent by Kansas State? The eight produced by Arkansas State’s Jonathan Adams on Sept. 12 and Texas Tech’s KeSean Carter on Oct. 3.