FSU pledge talks Tide offer

Florida State snagged in-state cornerback Tyrek Cole in January, but top programs all over the country didn't slow in recruiting the four-star. Alabama was among those, but it didn't pull the trigger with a scholarship offer until Saturday. With the Crimson Tide on board, the Nole pledge had plenty to say of his recruitment.

For several years it seems, Tyrek Cole has been a national prospect. The class of 2015 four-star cornerback from Miramar (Fla.) has excelled at every camp he's been to, including taking home MVP honors at the Miami Nike Football Training Camp last weekend, and remains a heavily pursued prospect despite his recent commitment to Florida State.

The No. 121 prospect in America's junior class regardless of position, he added another top offer on Saturday as he received word from the University of Alabama.

"It was good to get the Alabama offer, Alabama is Alabama," Cole said. "They have a great history, great head coach, great coaching staff, they had a great defensive back class (in 2014). Great DBs have come from Alabama, they always have a great defense and an overall great team.

"So that was a big-time offer for me."

While not small in significance, it was also not a surprise. The Crimson Tide staff has been in on one of the Sunshine State's top prospects for some time.

"Nick Saban came to the school earlier in the year, he checked me out so I knew the staff liked me," he said. "Then Coach [Mario] Cristobal told me that Coach Saban and the whole staff sat down and watched my film, they liked it, wanted me to play in the program and offered me a scholarship."

That tape evaluation revealed several things recruiting analysts have long said of the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder.

Can the Noles hold onto Cole's commitment?

"They say I have long arms, I play everywhere, they like the confidence I play with," he said. "They know I'm a lockdown corner and they can put me on an island. Since I was a sophomore, they've always put me on the best receiver we were playing and I lock ‘em down.

"My sophomore year, I played against Stacy Coley (Miami wide receiver) and all those guys. Coley and Alex Montgomery (Kentucky wide receiver) were the best I've played against."

There's no arguing the type of talent Cole has dealt with on a week-to-week basis in South Florida, where Cristobal is among the most familiar assistants in America. After playing at Miami (Fla.), leading FIU to bowl wins and coaching at Miami recently as well, there wasn't much time wasted by the Alabama assistant once he relocated to Tuscaloosa.

"I've been talking to him since he was at Alabama," he said. "Actually, as soon as he got to Alabama (February 2013), he got on my back. Our relationship is great, we talk like every day. We're cool, I think he came by the school like three times.

"We talk on Twitter a lot, and communicate on the phone, too. He's laid back."

All the interest, and the offer finally being on the table, could benefit Saban's program with multiple visits from the FSU pledge.

"For my official visits, Alabama is going to be one," Cole said. "They're trying to get me down in the spring, and in the summertime. I'm going this summer for sure, I don't know about the spring."

Tough he's not yet been to the Yellowhammer State, Alabama is squarely in the mix for a signature. But how does it maintain its position and who else is in that group?

"To continue hitting me up, they don't have to do a lot," Cole said. "Alabama and Florida State are on the same level. Stay in my ear, about the program and stuff like that, and we'll see what goes on.

"Miami, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and Florida State. I'm going to Miami, UCF and Florida State this coming week."

The trio of in-state programs seemingly have the leg-up for Cole's letter of intent, but he says he's willing to travel away from the state.

"Distance is not going to be a factor for me, I just want to go to the program that fits me best and that I can win at," he said. "I'm a 100 percent commit, but I'm still absolutely open. I'm still with Florida State. I never know what could happen. "

What the junior does know, however, is where he stands among the nation's elite at his position.

"I think I'm one of the best corners in the nation," Cole said. "It's not about the offers; it's just the way I play corner. I feel I can shutdown receivers on the island, I can take the best receiver out of the game, a lot of corners can't do that.

"I know the game."

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