Cole had an interesting route to MSU. After a standout career at Avon Lake High School, he attended Florida State where he played football as a walk-on. He then attended Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, before signing with MSU.
Cole had an immediate impact on special teams at Florida State, playing in all eleven regular season games in 2004.
In High School, Cole was the North's Defensive MVP in the 2003 Ohio All-Star Classic. He was a Division II All-Ohio first-team selection in 2002. He made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Elite 11 Defensive Team. He also was Northeast Lakes District, and Southwestern Conference Player Of The Year in 2002. Was also selected as the Defensive Player Of The Year by the (Lorain) Morning Journal. Played defensive end/outside linebacker and tight end, and recorded 96 tackles as a senior, 38 of those tackles for loss, and set a school and single-season record with 22 sacks in 2002.
John L Smith had this to say, "We expect Jesse Cole to provide some immediate help at linebacker. Jesse is well acquainted with Division I football after spending two years at Florida State, so he has the experience to make a smooth transition from junior college. He's a strong, physical linebacker that should get his share of snaps during spring ball and be in a position to contribute next fall."
So you are probably wondering why he had to walk on to Florida State with such an impressive resume? In high school he was one of the best, and recorded a lot of sacks and reaked havoc.
The problem is, he recorded a lot of the damage in high school as a defensive end. In college, its hard to play defensive end at a major college at 6-foot-2, and 225-pounds. So he ran into a lot of competition with the athletes FSU tends to draw to Tallahassee, and an attempted position change at Florida State to linebacker.
I fully expect him to play bandit at MSU.
He can fill the hole and rush the passer off the edge with good speed. He is very strong, with very long arms. He has the reputation for dragging quarterbacks down with one arm. He also is reputed to be very quick.
His success at MSU will determined by how well he does in pass coverage. He certainly knows where the quarterback is, that's for sure. I'm sure will see Cole blitz from the linebacker position as well. If he can make make the transition, MSU should have something special. sources included in this story: Michigan State Sports Information Press Release