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Humble Coale Takes Big Catch in Stride

With his 81-yard catch in the final moments, Danny Coale became the most unassuming figure to steal the spotlight in Saturday's stunning 16-15 win over Nebraska.

Coale is not the type to draw attention. He is a quiet and businesslike, humble and hard-working. He speaks in a measured, almost analytical way. He said he did not watch clips of the catch because he “wanted to focus on the things I didn’t do so well.”

Still, he said, he received about 20 voicemail or text messages after the game, some from “friends I hadn’t talked to in a while, some I talk to every day.” If his classmates did not know him before the catch, they very likely know who he is now.

Coale is not a flashy player. At 6 feet, he does not have the size of some of the Hokies’ other wide receivers but he is one of their most dependable.

Coale is a favorite target of quarterback Tyrod Taylor in a passing offense that has been among the nation’s worst in recent years. In 2008, Coale led the Hokies with 36 receptions. Through three games this year, he leads the team with 148 receiving yards.

But his catch against Nebraska will live as an indelible moment in Virginia Tech history. The very play, Tiger 93, will likely become an answer to a trivia question for Hokies fans.

Coale’s father, Jimmy, did not even get to see the catch in person. He went to a baseball tournament in Richmond with Coale’s younger brother. Coale said it was one of the very few games his father did not attend since he was young.

So, someone asked this week, will you ever forgive him?

“Of course,” Coale said with a smile, adding that his father also had calls from friends about the Nebraska game but “didn’t get to see it until late, late that night. I think that was pretty hard on him.”

Since his catch, Coale has taken it all (no pun intended) in stride. On Tuesday, he deflected the attention and talked about the No. 11 Hokies' (2-1) meeting with No. 9 Miami (2-0, 2-0 ACC) on Saturday, saying things like “we have a tough one.”

His season may be remembered for one improbable catch. But with the Hurricanes looming, the workmanlike Coale has not taken time this week to revel in the attention.

By Mark Viera  |  September 23, 2009; 7:51 AM ET
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Good hands beats height. Just ask Devin Thomas, Desean Jackson and Eddie Royal.

Posted by: jercha | September 23, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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