Cole Recaps Rutgers Official Visit

Long Beach (N.Y.) offensive lineman Tariq Cole committed to Rutgers earlier this season, and returned to campus this weekend for his official visit. Cole spoke with on his way home from Piscataway to discuss the change in offensive line coaching and recruiting others to Rutgers.

Seeing New York was nothing new for Long Beach (N.Y.) offensive lineman Tariq Cole, but watching his future school clinch a bowl berth made for a special official visit weekend.

Cole committed to Rutgers midway through his senior season, and saw his third game of the year at High Point Solutions Stadium. This time, the visit included an overnight stay on campus and a trip into Manhattan with the rest of the prospects.

"It was a great, great time with the rest of the kids in my class and now I'm just exhausted from a great time," said the 375-pound lineman. "The academic part is what really stood out to me. I didn't know the academics were that important. It's important because you aren't going to play football forever."

Cole was on campus with head coach Kyle Flood made the decision to fire offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski and two others. He said the decisions did not create any concern about the direction of the program.

Flood spoke with Cole about the decision, and it did not change anything with his commitment.

"I got to talk to him about it," Cole said. "I feel good about everything. I trust coach Flood, so it's for the best."

Cole spent time on the visit with Weeki Wachee (Fla.) offensive lineman Marcus Applefield. He also met Potomac (Md.) Bullis School commit Justin Herron, who came on an unofficial visit.

"We were talking a lot," Cole said. "We were talking about how we're going to be the best offensive line class at Rutgers and going to the Big Ten. I think he (Applefield) was pretty convinced."

Junior right tackle Taj Alexander hosted Cole for the weekend.

"It was a great game for the senior class because it was their last game ever at home," Cole said. "For them to get the win was important, and I want to go to the Pinstripe Bowl. … Taj was telling me how I need to get ready, and that it takes a lot of hard work to play and get ready for the NFL basically."

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