Freshman Brian Cole reflects on his decision to move to safety.

Freshman Brian Cole reflects on his decision to move to safety.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Brian Cole came to Michigan a highly regarded four-star wide receiver out of Saginaw (Mich.) Heritage, but after sustaining an knee injury after his third game, Cole was asked to make a position change by U-M coach Jim Harbaugh.

“When I got injured, he said “we’re going to try you at safety.’ I said ‘alright.’ Because I had played it a couple times and in my past (and in) high school I played it,” Cole said. “It wasn’t really that bad. It took time to get used to the plays.

“Adding: “I like the number (41), it’s a safety number. It’s really about getting used to it.”

Cole finished his freshman season with one catch and played both wide receiver and on special teams. Now, however, he has fully embraced his move to safety.

“My dad always told me it’s better to be a hitter than being hit,” Cole said. “So I can’t let somebody hit me, that’s how I get hurt. So I got to bring the hit. That’s always been a part of my game.”

Currently, Cole stands at 6-foot-2, 209-pounds, and with his move to safety, he says his ideal weight would be 215-pounds.

“I just want to be a good cover safety,” Cole said. “I need to work on 1-on-1 coverage. That’s what gets me. But other than that, I consider myself a good deep back safety. But I like to come up and hit you.”

And next year Cole hopes to crack U-M’s two-deep, and possibly step in as one of U-M’s starting safeties.

“That’s what I’m praying for, that’s what I hope for,” Cole said. “It’s whatever is best for the team, whatever can help us win. I’m down for that.”

Michigan (9-3) plays against Florida (10-3) on Friday at 1 p.m. in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.


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