The Michigan Wolverines added a huge piece to their 2015 recruiting class over the weekend in the form of four-star athlete Brian Cole (Saginaw, MI).
It’s a big commitment based on beating their rivals for his services. Cole is a fantastic talent and one of the better athletes in the nation, so to have him pledging to the Maize and Blue is what the Wolverines have been hoping for, and they got it.
Follow through the jump as we take a look at what Cole brings to the table for Michigan.
Cole is the fourth ranked athlete and 65th player overall in the 2015 class, according to the 247 Composite. He has the ability to play cornerback and safety, but his fit on offense is at running back and wide receiver. It appears that Michigan is bringing him in as a wide out.
At 6-2, 190 pounds, he is not quite the physical specimen that the last pure athlete they brought in, 2014 prospect Jabrill Peppers, but his skill set is very good. With that being said, he just looks bigger, faster and stronger than anyone else on the field on tape. He has an explosive first step and gets into second gear and can make quick cuts as fast as anyone I’ve looked at in this class. He’s a perfect combination of speed and physicality.
He is still a bit raw as a pass catcher, but has good hand and solid ball skills, which should improve in time. As stated above, he looks like he will play wide receiver in Ann Arbor, but his best fit would likely be as a hybrid running back/receiver, a la how they used Denard Robinson in his final two games against Ohio State and South Carolina.
Many have speculated, including myself at one point, that his best fit would be on defense in the wake of the Shaun Crawford decommitment, but Cole is far more college ready on offense. Many of the plays he makes on the defensive side of the ball are based solely on athleticism. He just seems more comfortable as an offensive weapon.
Cole will have to improve catching the ball out of the backfield and becoming a more sound route runner in his senior season, but he absolutely has the skill set to be a major part of what Michigan does on offense in the future. His impact on campus may not be immediate, but in time he should be one of the better offensive players in the Big Ten Conference.