The season obviously hasn’t gone as expected for Michigan this season. After Saturday’s 34-10 victory over Indiana the Wolverines improved to just 4-5 on the season (1-3 in conference). The on-field struggles have resulted in several off-field concerns as well, including several committed prospects rethinking their decisions.
The latest recruit to explore his potions is Saginaw (Mich.) Heritage wide receiver Brian Cole. After issuing his verbal pledge to Michigan in late July, Cole remains committed to the Wolverines while surveying his potential options at other schools.
Cole, listed as the No. 6 wide receiver in the country (No. 39 overall), took an official visit to Wisconsin on October 11th. The Badgers impressed on the field with a 38-28 victory. Along the way Cole familiarized himself with the Wisconsin coaching staff.
“It was a good time,” Cole told GoBlueWolverine.com. “My family got to meet some new coaches and just chill, relax time.”
Getting to know the Badgers’ coaching staff on the trip was a priority for Cole as he continued to do his due diligence regarding which school would pose the best fit. This was achieved as the four-star prospect discussed his goals surrounding the visit.
“Just to meet the coaches a little bit better,” said Cole. “Get to know them because I only talked to one coach there. So I got to meet some more coaches, get to know what my plan was if I was going to go and attend there or anything like that. Really just a good time with my family.”
Despite the positive experience in Madison, Cole allegiance to the Maize & Blue remains intact.
“As of right now, I’m still committed to Michigan,” Cole said. “I’m still a Michigan Wolverine.
Cole is still cognizant of what originally attracted him to Ann Arbor. Among those are the several connections he has formed with his would-be football family.
“The family and some of them are from Saginaw, where I’m from, like Coach Manning,” explained Cole. “I have a good relationship with them. I love the relationship that I have with the coaches. I love the commits that are there. Alex Malzone and them, those are my dudes.”
With the high school football season consuming a considerable amount of time for recruits, Cole notes that Michigan’s commits have been less active in their group text message chat.
“We really haven’t been texting that group chat much, nobody's really been hitting it up,” said Cole.
That fact, however, is not indicative of Cole’s personal feelings regarding Michigan.
“My feeling has not changed at all,” said Cole. “Michigan is still a great school. They’re struggling right now, but winning and losing doesn’t really matter to me.”
Cole, who plans on enrolling early to whichever school he chooses, is not all that unfamiliar with the current difficulties that Michigan is presently enduring. Saginaw Heritage turned in a 2-7 record this year, much to Cole’s dismay.
Still, he has learned how to persevere through such trying times.
“(Michigan’s season) is just like Heritage,” Cole said. “We’ve been struggling this season too. I’ve been struggling for four years out here and they’re doing the same exact thing. You just got to overcome it. You win and lost some, you can’t win them all, but you just got to continue to work hard and play your heart out every game and just wait for a change.”
One factor that would change the landscape of Cole’s recruiting outlook is what happens with Hoke.
“That’s kind of scary but me and Coach Hoke have talked a couple of times and he said that he would let me know individually (if he was going to be let go) so, I’ve really just not been worrying about it,” said Cole.
Although Cole’s official visit to Wisconsin is not leading to an immediate flip, it may not be the end of Cole’s visitations. A plan is not currently in place for Cole to take subsequent visits, but it may come to fruition after discussing his situation with his father.
“At the moment right now, I don’t know,” said Cole. “Me and my dad have not gone over that yet, so I don’t know yet.”
Story by Eric Rutter
Interview by Sam Webb