Maize n Brew is rolling out a new line of 2015 player profiles, and a new feature is coming along with them. Said feature is a more thorough breakdown of a player's attributes; everything from a prospect's frame to his awareness will be graded and broken down for you. Bon appétit!
Film and Ratings
Cole is a lock to be a consensus four-star prospect. I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of the services ranks him as an athlete instead of a corner when all of the 2015 rankings come out.
Cole's frame is merely above average as a receiver, but it's elite for a corner. Standing at 6'2", 190 pounds, he possesses much more length and range than your everyday BCS corner. He still isn't lanky for his height – this is often what separates 6'2" corners from slower 6'2" safeties – allowing him the ability to change direction very well for a prospect his size. He has enough length to get up to a playing weight of around 205 pounds, which will make him a strong run defender and a nightmare to deal with at the line of scrimmage.
Brian breaks solid tackles on more than a handful of runs on film, usually standing straight up through contact without having to lower his shoulder. Whether or not he's strong enough to shed blockers and bring down college ball carriers has yet to be determined. He does manage to throw the ball clear across the field with a defender all over his back at 3:57 in his film, so there's that. Once again, he has the frame to get up to 205 pounds, which means he could eventually be very strong for his position.
No, acceleration and agility aren't the same thing. Cole isn't a straight-line burner; he probably runs in the mid 4.5s, giving him good but not great speed. He has a bit of an awkward running style, keeping his hips slightly open at all times. This might hinder his long speed a bit, but it makes him the perfect candidate to play corner, where he can utilize his natural running motion and ability to move laterally.
On-Field Awareness: B-
This is tough to gauge when the majority of his film is of him playing at receiver and running back. His vision is serviceable on offense, sometimes bouncing outside or running into a crowd when other routes were available. I like the angles he maintains during the little amount of defensive film available, but his lack of experience on defense could hinder him for a bit at the next level.
Ball Skills: B
Cole has decent hands, sometimes catching the ball with his body and bringing it down with one clean swipe of the hands at other times. This is something that isn't too hard to spot on film, and it looks like Cole's ball skills are decent but short of someone like Drake Harris.
I think Cole ends up at corner or safety at the next level, and he doesn't have much experience on defense. He's definitely going to require coaching if he begins in the secondary. He runs average routes as a receiver, although the film of him running routes is limited as well.
Brian could end up being an elite boundary corner, and he also has the potential to start at safety or wide receiver. He'll require a good bit of coaching if he ends up playing defense, but his frame and overall athleticism are promising. I would like to see him play corner, where he would be reminiscent of Marlin Jackson. His strength and athleticism would make him a weapon on offense, but a lack of elite ball skills will keep him from being as great on offense as he could be on defense.
Michigan has been recruiting Cole longer than any other major player in his recruitment, offering him all the way back on January 25th. He has visited and been offered by Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, making him one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the Midwest in the class of 2015. He has also been offered by Tennessee and will most certainly be picking up offers from around the nation. As of now, the two in-state powers and Ohio State seem to be the three schools most firmly entrenched in his recruitment, but keep an eye on Notre Dame, who should offer Cole somewhere down the line.
It's obviously still early in the process for Cole. Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee are all involved in his recruitment, and schools across the country are bound to take notice and throw their hats into the ring. With all of that said, I don't see Cole leaving the state. I think he commits to Michigan after Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison win yet another recruiting battle against Mark Dantonio's staff.