Scout Rating: ****
Scout Rank: #18 OT, #253 Scout 300
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 260
Hometown: Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake HS
His Recruiting Story:
Since moving from Chicago to Florida at the age of eight, Mason Cole’s ability on the football field became harder and harder to ignore. Before playing one snap as a high school sophomore, but after starting all 11 games as a freshman on the offensive line, Cole received his first college scholarship offer from South Florida. Admitting to growing up a fan of Michigan State and Florida State, even including the Spartans in an early top five in the spring of 2012, Cole was ready to get back to his roots in the North, mainly, the Midwest. Making unofficial visits to Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame the summer before his junior year, Cole got his first taste of Ann Arbor. Returning to Michigan for their 12-10, dogfight win over Michigan State that October, Cole grew fonder of the Wolverines, the program, current players, and the coaching staff, eventually committing to Brady Hoke in February of 2013 despite considering USC and Notre Dame very seriously.
Scout.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newburg breaks down Cole’s game: “Cole is a big framed offensive tackle prospect that can really move his feet well. He has long arms and plenty of room to bulk up and add mass. In pass pro Cole sets and slides well to keep defender in front of him. He has good balance. Cole is a solid run blocker who is more finesse than sheer power. He can get off the ball well, get to the second level and is quite adept at pulling because of the way he moves for a big man.”
Following his third visit to Ann Arbor, Cole, who constantly talked of how at home he felt at Michigan, couldn’t resist and offered his verbal commitment to the Wolverines:
.“It was just a gut feeling really,” Cole said. “I had been up there a third time and everything just felt right. I just felt at home. I had my heart set on it before I went home, but I wanted to talk to my head coach in person first before I did anything.”
Instantly becoming one of the more out spoken Michigan commitments in the 2014 class, Cole offers the kind of versatility on the offensive line coaches love on the depth chart.
“They see me as a tackle, but it’s wherever I can play early,” Cole said describing his projected role at Michigan. “They see me as versatile. I can play anywhere. Staying at tackle would be my preference, but it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Despite the obvious connections to the Midwest, for Michigan to head down to Florida and secure a commitment from a four-star talent like Cole is impressive. Enrolling early Cole will have the opportunity to get a head start with spring practice before his first fall camp, but most importantly several months of strength and conditioning to add weight to his athletic, 260-pound frame. Cole could be the ideal size for a right tackle or have the ability to slide inside to guard depending on the depth chart. With new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier’s approach to running the ball, Cole fits the part as a tough, road grading offensive lineman.