ACC Football Kickoff: Audie Cole

PINEHURST, NC -- Audie Cole spoke with the media on Sunday during the ACC Football Kickoff, covering topics ranging from his transition to middle linebacker, his high school recruitment, and much more.

Audie Cole Audio

"I dabbled at defense in high school... my sophomore year I didn't play defense at all, I just played quarterback my sophomore, junior, and senior year. About halfway through my senior year they started playing me at safety."

"They were at Boston College at the time and they were recruiting me they said they were recruiting me as an athlete. They weren't sure really, they just said I was athletic enough to play linebacker or tight end or whatever they say me doing."

"They were upfront with me all the way. They weren't trying to get me there and then switch me which I thought a couple of schools were trying to do that. They were honest and told me what they wanted, and that's what you got."

"They believed in me. My father always tells me that I don't give myself enough credit... I guess that is how I was raised."

"Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan offered at quarterback, Cincinnati offered at quarterback, well they said. I don't really know. A few other schools, but I really didn't have that many offers coming out. I had a decent amount but it wasn't probably like the some of the guys around here who had probably 50 or so. I wasn't like that."

"That first year I really didn't know what I was doing. I was just looking like an idiot out there because I didn't know anything. I didn't understand anything."

"When I first got here the attitude of the team was different, no one really tried to help each other out, it was more about themselves. Things have changed. People help out younger people now so it's an easier transition for kids that come from high school to college on our team now."

"People are helping out. When I got here everyone saw everybody as someone coming to take their spot. No one wanted to help anyone do anything."

"I was hoping they were going to move me to tight end because I hated it at first. I just wanted to catch the ball and score touchdowns, but it worked out. I enjoy where I am now."

"I've noticed that [the NC State coaches can evaluate talent]. Not only me, there are numerous guys on the team. Coming out of high school they rank people with stars... in high school you're hearing this guy is a so-and-so star he must be real good. In college I've seen four and five-star that aren't worth anything and I've seen two-stars or walk-ons come in and be some of the best players on the team. I don't really think any of that stuff matters anymore, looking back at what everyone used to think was a big deal in high school."

"I think coach O'Brien and them are the same way. They are looking for someone that's going to come out and play hard and work hard. That's what they base everything on, working hard and doing your assignments... you're going to be good."

"D.J. [Green] comes to me because he's young and can get confused on things... I'm always trying to help him out. Once he gets it figured out he's going to be pretty dang good. He might be one of the best athletes on the team. He can do everything. He can do anything he wants. Once he gets it figured out he's going to be great."

"With some experience it looks so easy. Knowing the place that he's in, his mind is probably just running. He's trying his hardest to do everything he can do.. once he gets everything figured out he's going to be good."

"We learn all the defenses, why we run the defenses, why we call a defense in a certain situation. He tries to teach us about the game of football."

"Obviously Nate was a great player, but I think we'll be alright. It was great playing with him, D.J. is coming in, and he's one of the best athletes on our team. He's a great player so I think we'll be alright. I don't think it's going to set us back too much."

"Russell was a great player, but we're not going to change as a defense with him gone. We're going to try and get a 3-and-outs and Terrell and I are going to go sit back on the Gatorade coolers and throw Gatorade at each other like we always do."

"We're going to try and do the best we can and make plays."

"We don't have the quarterback experience, and we lost some receivers too, but Mike doesn't really worry anybody because we all know that Mike is a great quarterback. He's one of the best quarterbacks I've ever played with. He and Russell are both good quarterbacks but just two different kinds of quarterbacks... I don't think anybody is really worried about it. Mike can make plays."

"J.R. Sweezy is the most vocal... he's a good leader himself."

"You can't blame that on Mike, he's already 6'9 or whatever he is. Those kinds of plays, if you ask me, are kind of luck. A guy gets his hand up in the right spot at the right time."

"I think my linebacker coach a long time ago tried to send me to tight end, but obviously coach O'Brien turned that one down. I guess it worked out. Otherwise George [Bryan] would be sitting on the bench."

"Obviously Nate was a great player, but he's gone and we've got to move on."

"All our defensive backs now have another year of experience."

"We're going out there to win, I don't care if it's Clemson or Liberty in our first game."

"The first game I had the cast on... the tight end for Clemson was killing me because I couldn't do anything. I couldn't get him off me because I couldn't figure out how to play with one hand."

"I'm kind of both-handed... I guess. I write left-handed, but I throw right-handed, I played hockey right-handed."

"East Carolina was running one play after the next on us and no one could sub in or out, no one could even breathe. I was wearing a mouthpiece but I had to throw it out because I couldn't even breathe."

"When we got here we were the same way. No stars, a couple of stars, nobody. I guess they just believed in us and made us work hard, disciplined us... we all learned a lot."

"Every year we get a couple of good recruits and then we get all these lower recruits who aren't highly-touted coming out of high school but are good players that everyone kinds of overlooks. Coach O'Brien has a way of finding them... then we have walk-ons who earn scholarships and are starting for us like Taylor Gentry, our great fullback. I don't even know if he had a scholarship offer outside of Elon... I bet if they could go back a lot of schools would have offered him."

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