“We got to interact with the coaches more than we ever had,” Cole’s father Brian Sr. said. “It was really good. Nussmeier, we spent time with him, Coach Heck, Roy Manning, Singletary, and and we also got to spend an extensive amount of time with Coach Hoke. We had a good conversation. It went really well.”
“(Wide receiver) is where they want him to play. If Brian ends up (at receiver) that’s fine. We really don’t have problems with that. We’re just thankful that he can play either side. We talked about that. Also (we were) just getting to know Nussmeier a little bit more. We talked to the coaches a little bit about being at Michigan in general and the fact that they like the sort of high character kids and stuff like that. They felt like Brian fit that mold.”
The time connecting with the coaches was but one of the impactful experiences during a visit that began last Saturday evening and ended Sunday after the basketball team’s victory over Michigan State. The Coles also gained a stronger appreciation for the academic support offered in Ann Arbor.
“We got an opportunity to hear Shari (Acho) speak about the program there at Michigan, which is a great program,” Mr. Cole stated. “The M-PACT (The Michigan Professional and Career Transition) program is a tremendous program. That’s one of the things that really excites us about Michigan. (It’s about) taking care of student-athlete part of it and (making sure) that the kids are going to be okay whether they continue to play football or not which is most important. One of the biggest things for us is I like how Shari said football is secondary versus their education. I like that and we believe that as a family, and that’s just really big. We’ve been to some different places and I haven’t really seen a program like that one. So it is really different and it is really appealing.”
Based on the younger Cole’s chat with his parents upon leaving Ann Arbor it was clear that he was just as impressed.
“I think (the feeling about Michigan) is better simply because after visiting more and we have an even better relationship, understand more…I think it is better. His mind is focused where it should be and it is education. When he tells me that (M-PACT) is a great program, that lets me know that he is not just thinking about football and he is thinking about his education and life after football.”
All told, Michigan solidified its place on Cole’s list, but how much of a distinction that is at this point is anyone’s guess. The timetable for paring down his list and ultimately making his choice remains to be seen.
“It depends on Brian. I’ve talked to other families and they said the kids get tired. They say, I’m tired and I just want to make my decision now. Whether they take a visit or don’t, I know parents of kids who said that they didn’t even want to take a visit. They’re just tired. The unofficial visits wore them out. At this point and time it is hard to say. Brian may look at me and his mom one day and say, ‘hey guys I’m just ready to make my decision.’
“So what is going to happen with us? We don’t know yet. This boy might not make it through the summer. He might not make it through the next few months. We just don’t know.”