Cole Sets Decision Date

<b>Ryan Cole</b>, a 5-11, 208-pound running back from Port Orchard, Washington was whisked away from American Lake on Friday as part of his official visit to the <b>University of Washington</b>. What ensued in the next 48 hours help solidify Cole's plans as to how he will make his college choice.

"I arrived at around 11:30," Cole told tonight. "We came by seaplane. The water was a little choppy but the ride was nice. Cole's companion? None other than Clover Park's Shelton Sampson. "We went to the Space Needle for lunch and then went to watch the players practice. Then we went to the weight room and we had a chance to meet the coaches there. Then we checked into the hotel and then ate dinner."

The practice seemed to especially envigorate Ryan. "I was impressed with the size and speed of the linemen and also the receivers and running backs. I was impressed with just the speed of the game overall. I tried to compare my game with theirs and I would just to compete with guys like that."

Saturday was more of the same for Cole and his recruiting compadres. "We ate breakfast at Daniel's and then went back to the stadium," he said. "We met with the academic advisors. We got to see another practice and then from there we went to Jillians for lunch and then right after that I had a chance to meet with the running backs coachs, Coach Alford. He just basically said that he liked me as a player and that he wants me running the ball. He showed me some game film and showed me some plays, taught me a few things."

Things were just getting interesting for Ryan at that point. "About 7 or so we went back to the stadium. They showed us the locker rooms and they had all the recruits' names on lockers. If I choose to go there they showed me where my locker would be. And then we went upstairs to the Don James Center and we had dinner. As soon as you walked in you saw our jersies with our names on them. We had dinner there, then from there our hosts picked us up and we went and saw the college." It should come as no surprise that a former South Kitsap star would be chosen to show Cole the ropes around campus. "My student host was Jimmy Newell."

Cole has always talked about the academic aspect of college, and this conversation was no different. "They have 22 people on their staff to help you get through school," he said. "I got some great information. They all spoke highly of the classes and the teachers."

This morning was a fitting finale to a solid trip for Ryan and his parents. "We woke up and check out of the hotel and then went over to Coach Neuheisel's house with all the parents," said Cole. "Then we said all our goodbyes and left."

To a competitor like Cole, getting a chance to see some people knock heads was the highlight of his trip. "I say the practices were the highlight," he said. "It was nice to see a college practice and see how the players operate. Also getting a chance to meet the weightlifting coach, Bill Gillespie. Getting a chance to talk to him and finding out the different things, lifts and workouts I'd be working on if I went there."

Ryan said that his discussions with two of the more experienced Huskies got him thinking about his own decision. "I got a chance to meet Cody Pickett and Willie Hurst and I talked to them," he said. "I asked them about their feelings about the game. I also asked them about what they think about U-Dub and how they came to their decisions to attend U-Dub."

Now that his visit is officially in the books, Ryan knows when he'll decide. "I told them I would be deciding on January 21st," he said about his final talk with the Washington coaching staff. Cole has impending visits to Oregon State, Northwestern and Cal. Top Stories