Va. Tech Target Cole: Linebacker or Safety?

Va. Tech Target Cole: Linebacker or Safety?

Cave Spring High (Roanoke, Va.) safety Michael Cole will make his college decision before the end of the month, and Virginia Tech is one of his finalists. While there is no disputing Cole's talent, a question that continues to linger is where Cole will play. Penn State, Virginia and the Hokies have varying views, according to Cave Spring coach Tim Fulton.

When Cave Spring High (Roanoke, Va.) coach Tim Fulton listens to college coaches dissect the talents of safety Michael Cole, he hears a variety of things.

And when it comes to Virginia Tech, Cole's ability is analogous to Cody Grimm.

Cole is getting ready to make his decision, with Virginia, Virginia Tech and Penn State in contention. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Cole told VTInsider.com last week he would decide in the next few weeks, and Fulton talked about the type of player the winner will receive.

"His ability to read and react to things is terrific," Fulton said. "He just has great ability defensively at linebacker and safety to diagnose a play and react to it. We play him at safety, and that gives us the ability to run him down hill and fill in any gaps that may crease somewhere."

"He's just a hard-nosed kind of player. He's the kind of kid that's going to work through injuries, just like (quarterback) Josh (Woodrum), and he and Josh are the kind of kids you want to build programs around."

Cole, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at the Nike Combine this spring, finished his junior season with more than 80 tackles and three interception, but his exploits aren't kept to the defense.

He also ran for more than 550 yards and scored 11 touchdowns on offense.

"He also has the speed to be a running back or a receiver for us, and we bounce him around," Fulton said. "Michael last year was a running back, but we'll probably move him into a slot position and bring him back into the backfield as well."

One of Cole's endearing traits is his versatility, but it also creates a little confusion in the recruiting process.

"Everybody is basically trying to decide (where to play him)," Fulton said. "When he went to Penn State for their one-day (camp), he worked the morning part of the one-day with the linebackers and he worked the evening part with the safeties.

"UVa is looking at him to play the weakside linebacker spot. That's where they like him. And then Virginia Tech, the sense I'm getting is he would be that guy to play the position Cody Grimm played."

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