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Getting to know: Bills defensive tackle Deandre Coleman

Deandre Coleman has lived out of a suitcase for most of his NFL career.

Since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014, Coleman has spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and now, the Buffalo Bills.

The hulking, 6-foot-5, 341-pound defensive tackle made his Bills debut last Sunday against Oakland, playing 14 snaps.

Here is more on the Seattle native:

The Buffalo News: How did you choose Cal-Berkeley, and what did you study?

Deandre Coleman: "Social welfare was my major. Their coach, Jeff Tedford, had been recruiting me for a good three years. I was close with Tosh Lupoi, too. He was the youngest coach in Cal history. He's at Alabama now. It was between Cal and Washington. I made a last-minute decision on Cal."

BN: Was it tough to leave your home state?

DC: "Not really. I was a fan of Cal growing up, so it wasn’t really hard. It was a long process, so I knew I might be leaving. I watched Cal for a long time – the teams with Aaron Rodgers, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Mebane, Marshawn Lynch, Tyson Alualu, I played with him my first year at Cal — I liked all those guys."

BN: You've got some famous alums from your high school, right?

DC: "Yeah, Garfield High School in Seattle. It's right in the heart of the city, called the Central District. It's the same high school that Jimi Hendrix went to."

BN: That's pretty cool. So you must be a Hendrix fan, right?

DC: "Oh, yeah. He never actually graduated, but they gave him an honorary diploma."

BN: They must do that when people get famous enough.

DC: "For real, there's a statue and everything."

BN: What else did you do there outside of football?

DC: "I did track in ninth and 10th grade. I tried wrestling, but didn’t like it. I tried basketball. I made the team, but it wasn’t for me. They begged me to play, so that’s the only reason I did it. Track I did shot put and discus, big-man relay ..."

BN: Wait, what? Big-man relay?

DC: "Haha, yeah. It's a fun event at the end of the meet. The big guys would run around and do the 4X400 relay."

BN: Seriously?

DC: "Wait, no, 4X100 relay. We'd be dead if we did the 4X400."

BN: Were you fast?

DC: "We used to do pretty good. We'd win most of them, unease the other team cheated. They'd have somebody in there who weighed, like, 190 pounds."

BN: What were you checking in at those days?

DC: "In ninth grade I was 240. By senior year I was 300."

BN: What are your plans for after football?

DC: "I’ve actually still got three more classes left at Cal. I'm finishing two this spring, then going back to this summer to graduate. I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas, a whole bunch of stuff, trying to invest and things like that."

BN: The journey to Buffalo has been a long one for you. What's it been like?

DC: "I've just trusted the whole process and believed everything is going to work out. It’s been a headache, being in a whole bunch of cities in three years, but you have to trust yourself and go after what you want. This is the end goal."

BN: What was it like to get on the field for the first time with the Bills last week?

DC: "It feels good. I feel like they trust me with the assignments they’re giving me. I’m loving it here. It’s different than being on the West Coast, but I like it. Everybody’s really nice here."

BN: What occupies your time away from the field?

DC: "Playing with my son, Deandre Jr. He’s four months old, so I’m busy with him. My girlfriend, she’s out here, too."

BN: So you were down in Miami when he was born?

DC: "Yeah, he was born the day before we had to report. So I didn’t make it the first day of camp. Every day is a learning process with him, figuring out what he likes, what he doesn’t like it. My girlfriend is taking classes now, so I spend a lot of time with him myself."

BN: What are some of your hobbies?

DC: "I like to read. I’m a big on autobiographies — true stories. I’ve always had a real interest in that, so I read a lot of those."

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