Will Penn State Strike Cole?

Virginia prospect set to announce Monday. The Nittany Lions are in the mix for his services.

With a decision coming Monday, Virginia prospect Michael Cole is set to end his recruitment in just a few short days. Cole has narrowed his list down to a final two of Penn State and Virginia Tech, and will make his decision at 5:30 p.m.

"I wanted to get it done before the football season, before my senior year," Cole told FightOnState.com. "I wanted to get it off my mind. I'm in the position right now where I know where I want to go."

Cole said that after doing the visits, tours, camps, combines and talking to coaches, he is settled on where he wants to go. Stating that he wants to go to a good football program, he said that a good academic school is key for him. After his playing days are done, Cole said he is interested in medical school and he realizes that a good four-year school will help him in that regard.

With the solid footing of a program and the academics of the school having passed his test, Cole said that the vibe of the program he is set to pick was the tipping factor.

"It's all about the relationship I had with the coaches," Cole said.

At Penn State, he developed a good bond with the players and the coaches.

"There, you're talking about the legend – Joe Paterno," Cole said. "Everything they offer academically is impressive and they play in the Big Ten. To be honest, it is an honor for me to be associated with them – to have them want me to play for them – it's just such a big deal."

Cole says that Penn State was very low key in its approach to him. The program didn't pester him as much as others who were often him. He developed a good bond with assistant Bill Kenney, who was the one primarily recruiting him. It took him a while to develop that relationship and understand Penn State's unique philosophy of recruiting.

"Coach Paterno told me early on not to worry about how many e-mails, how many letters they send me," Cole said. "He told me to focus on the fact that they flat-out want me to play for them."

But a relationship did form with Kenney.

"He's very quiet, very laid back, but when I got to know him, I found out he was a great guy. I think I had a strong relationship with him," Cole said. "I got know him well."

The player, who said he will be on the defensive side of the ball as either a safety or a weak side linebacker, also felt a strong relationship with Virginia Tech.

"I kind of grew up a fan of Virginia Tech," Cole said. "Going there, I felt close to the program, just a sense of closeness about what they do. I got tight with the coaches there too."

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012

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