Darkins' teammate also interested in Dawgs

Michael Cole is a 6-8, 250-pound offensive tackle from Lake Oswego, Oregon, and it wasn't that long ago that Michael wasn't that big and wasn't attending Lake Oswego High School. But man, things can change in a hurry. And while he didn't realize it at the time, a busted ankle was the impetus for the changes that have turned Cole's career on the gridiron completely around. How is that possible?

"Well, I broke my ankle at Oregon's football camp, actually," Michael told Dawgman.com. "And I came back and actually didn't go to the hospital for a few days until the pain was just killing me. So with a broken ankle I was on my back for about a month and a half. And nobody from Lakeridge came by, just my friends from L-O. So I talked to my Dad about it and it was like, 'I need a change.'

Cole's name should be familiar to Northwest prep football fans, as his brother Travis just finished up playing quarterback at the University of Minnesota. Travis played both QB and receiver at Lakeridge High, often switching from one position to another with each play. Michael knows what that's all about now. With his big growth spurt, his new coach at L-O, Steve Coury, asked Cole if he wanted to give tackle a shot. "I like it a lot," Michael said. "At first I didn't think I was going to, but Coach (Coury) came to me and asked me to try it. He told me that they needed me there. And I liked it. You just get to hit people all the time, so I was like, 'This is where I'm going to play.'"

For a big man, Michael has agility. "Playing tight end helped me a lot," he said. "It helped because at tight end I had to use my quickness and my feet. I move pretty well for a big guy." His last 40 time was a 4.99, but there were some extenuating circumstances behind that run. "That 40 was after the broken ankle. I probably run a 4.85." He benches 260 pounds and squats 400.

When it comes to recruiting, there was early interest. "Schools were calling a lot during the regular season, but during the playoffs it dropped off," Cole said. "Maybe they were just trying to give me some space. Northern Arizona and Portland State are the most consistent. Washington's called me too. They are the only Pac-10 school to call me. Northern Arizona told me that they were going to call me back in January about a visit."

Randy Hart is the coach that has been contacting Michael for the Huskies. "Coach Hart said he saw film of me and he liked what he saw," said Cole. "He said I moved around well and that he liked my athleticism. He told me he was going to follow-up with me."

Right now, Michael might be looking at a scholarship offer from a 1-AA school, but the possibility of walking on at a Pac-10 school exists. "Well, if it looked like a promising situation, I would definitely do it," Cole said. "I like Washington a lot. I know the Maronas really well, and Andy Lewis too. I know he didn't play much, but he liked it up there. I went to the California game this year. They lost, but the fans and the atmosphere was so awesome! Where they play, in that little harbor there, is amazing."

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