Commitment Spotlight: LB/S Michael Cole

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Cave Spring (Roanoke, VA) star Michael Cole made the short trip to Blacksburg each of the past two Saturdays and plans to return for more games throughout Virginia Tech’s 2010 season. The 6-2, 200-pound senior, one of 11 2011 commitments for the Hokies, has some thoughts on the possible positions he could play for head coach Frank Beamer.

A versatile and athletic player, Cole primarily plays strong safety and wide receiver for Cave Spring, but he will start out his Tech career on the defensive side of the ball.

“I’ve been at the games this season and I’m really eyeing the defense a lot,” Cole said. “The coaches mention the Whip and Rover positions a lot. I think I fit in well at either of those depending on my size. At Rover or Whip, I think I’d be good. I can scan the defense pretty well because I’m used to playing safety. The coaches mentioned free safety a little, saying they might flip me in there, but I think I’m more likely to play one of those other two spots.”

Strong safety and wide receiver may be Cole’s primary positions in high school, but he sees action at other spots as well. Defensively, he will line up at outside linebacker in certain coverages. In addition to receiver, he will occasionally line up at running back. In a 33-7 win over Patrick Henry (Roanoke) last week, the senior standout rushed 10 times for 103 yards including a 17-yard touchdown run.

Cole is a playmaker on special teams as well, returning a punt 65 yards for a score against Northside. He estimates he is averaging about 20 yards per punt return on the season.

“I get back there and just run,” Cole said when asked about his punt return abilities. “I look for a hole, but if there isn’t one, I guess I just try to make one (laughs).”

Cole was seriously on the FBS recruiting radar following last season, but he helped himself in the offseason by attending camps and combines. Those experiences proved to be beneficial for more than just recruiting exposure.