BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) –
After consulting with doctors and the training staff at Virginia Tech, it was determined that Cole should not continue to play football due to a higher risk of further injury to his neck and spine. Per NCAA rules, Cole qualifies for a medical disqualification and will remain on scholarship, although the scholarship does not count toward Tech’s limit of 85.
“I would just like to thank Coach Beamer, Coach Stinespring – who recruited me – and all of the coaches in making my dreams come true,” Cole said. “It truly has been an honor and a blessing to be led by such a highly respected group of people. I would also like to thank my friends and family back home and the entire Hokie Nation, which has supported me throughout my career. It pains me that I will never be able to put the pads on again for this prestigious program and university, but in spite of all this, I will forever be a Hokie.”
“I am disappointed that Michael Cole will no longer be playing football at Virginia Tech,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “Good players with great character are hard to replace. I believe Michael has a great future no matter what road he decides to take.”
Cole, from Roanoke, Va., played in 10 games this past season as a redshirt freshman, making four starts as the nickel back. He earned Academic All-District honors and was an honorable mention Freshman All-American by CFN.com after making 43 tackles and recording two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He led the team with 11 tackles, including one for a 3-yard loss, at North Carolina and recovered a fumble and returned an interception 12 yards against Duke. He also had five tackles and an interception at Clemson.
Cole started against Florida State and made two tackles before leaving the game early with a neck sprain. He did not play the rest of the year.
“Michael has done well after the injury he sustained in the Florida State game,” said Dr. Mark Rogers, head team physician. “Unfortunately, he was still having some persistent symptoms, so he underwent surgery on his neck. He has recovered well and he will continue rehabilitation. We expect him to make a full recovery.”