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New Blue, Brian Cole

Michigan grabs the top recruit in the state.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

MI ATH Brian Cole became the ninth commitment in the Michigan class on Saturday, when he announced his intention to commit to the Maize and Blue before the BBQ at the Big House even began. If his commitment holds up, it will be the second time in the Hoke tenure that the top 247sports prospect in-state has chosen to play for the Wolverines. At the very least, we won't have to deal with that muffled backhand from Dantonio on NSD.

Although (in my opinion) this has been a bit of a down year for talent in the state of Michigan, Cole's place atop that list is still well earned. His quiet recruitment belies the real talent he'll bring to this offense. Although he isn't as polished as other HS receivers like Freddy Canteen (but really, who is), his athleticism should get him early looks on the field. His quickness and thick lower body make him a nightmare to try to bring down in the open field, and his leaping ability makes those skyrocketing sideline catches look routine. There are little bits and pieces of his game that you hope he improves on (getting off the ball more consistently, sinking his hips in and out of cuts, etc), but to see a man with his size doing the things he does screams NFL upside. SBNation's own Bud Elliot weighed in on Cole's strengths in June..

Cole is an absolutely fantastic athlete, easily one of the best in the country. And combined with his size and build, that athletic combination is deadly on the football field. He looks like a man among boys.

Cole is quick-twitch to the max. His ability to stop, and then get right back up to top speed is excellent. He can sky to get the football as a receiver if any defender has managed to keep up with his top-end speed, and he snatches the football well with his hands, naturally.

All of this paints a picture of tantalizing upside- however, if he does manage to find his way onto the field early, it won't be due to a lenient depth chart situation. The only WR Michigan might lose between now and when he gets on campus would be Devin Funchess, should he choose to mosey on down to the draft. Other impediments will include the Junior group of C'Sonte York, Jehu Chesson, DaMario Jones and Amara Darboh, Sophomores Jaron Dukes and Freddy Canteen, as well as RS Freshmen in Moe Ways and Drake Harris (my estimate). That's a lot of bodies, none of whom have yet given the indication they're just scholarship numbers. However, Cole will likely provide the best combo of size and speed (with the possible exception of Darboh), so he'll at least have an edge in that area.

Overall, it's a very solid talent addition and yet another indicator that Brady Hoke's recruiting ability is completely independent of his situation- this team might have finished 7-6 last year, but they're sure not recruiting like it.