Joe Reedy tweeted that the Bengals signed Hampton running back LaMarcus Coker according to a family member. Absolutely nothing about this is official. Reedy even made a point that the Bengals have announced nothing. Coker did have a try out with the team.
Coker is a former standout at Tennessee who was dismissed from the team in 2007 because of failed drug tests. He bounced back to run for over 1,000 yards as a senior at Hampton and could well be the fastest running back in the draft. Coker has been said to run in the sub-4.3 range and has the ability to get from 0-60 quickly in the open field. Obviously there are still a number of character concerns attached to him, but he’s a guy who has the speed to create any time he the ball is in his hands.
LaMarcus Coker RB Hampton: An explosive ball carrier who can take it the distance from anywhere. Blazing speed at a hair over 4.4. Also a very good receiver out of the backfield which is a skill Martz loves in his backs. Probably can contribute right away in nickle offensive sets. Also added value on special teams particularly as a returner. has character concerns as far as his dedication that begs the question, "how bad does he want it?"
In his two years at Tennessee and his two years at Hampton, Coker 494 rushes for 2,504 yards and 13 touchdowns including a 1,027 yard senior season at Hampton.
Joe Reedy wrote:
Coker spent the last two years at Hampton University. Last season he was the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s leading rusher, totaling 1,027 yards and six touchdowns. Coker started his career at Tennessee but was kicked off the team by then-coach Phillip Fulmer midway through his sophomore season after failing four drug tests.
This, to me, sounds like another player to add some more competition in the backfield and possibly bolster the special teams. It's obvious that the Bengals starting running back is (and will be until the end of time) Cedric Benson. The team also seams invested in third down back Brian Leonard and back up Bernard Scott. Then they signed Cedric Peerman last week and Cordera Eason, an un-drafted free agent, popped up on the Bengals roster. If this is true and we find out in the next couple days that the Bengals did sign Coker, it will be for some more competition in camp and that's all. There's no guarantee that Coker would make the team or make any sort of difference if he did.
We'll find out soon enough. Until then, there is a really great article about Coker being kicked out of Tennessee and moving to Hampton here.