The Staff of TheWolverine.com
Four-star offensive lineman Mason Cole committed to Michigan Feb. 25, becoming the fourth pledge in the 2014 class and the first lineman. Former All-Big Ten guard Doug Skene evaluates his film.
Strengths: Cole is very athletic for a big man. He demonstrates good body control when adjusting his blocking angles. Cole shows very good lateral movement skills and speed when he blocks in open space. His footwork out of his stance is decent and he shows pretty good balance on the first move. He does a good job of keeping his shoulders square when moving from the first to the second level.
Cole plays with a pretty good level of hand violence. In other words, he uses his hands to create a strong initial impact on his opponent. He plays aggressive and looks to punish his opponent down the field through the whistle.
Areas of Improvement: Cole shows a tendancy to let his shoulders get out in front of his feet a bit on his base blocks. This can cause balance problems that good defensive linemen and linebackers will take advantage of. He will learn that hand extension and maintaining body balance are critical when playing against top level talent.
Cole also plays with his hips a bit high, which causes his entire body to be too high. He can play high and still dominate the high-school talent he plays against because he is such a great athlete. The college level will require that he get stronger in his lower body so he can play lower and be even more effective.
College Projection: Offensive Guard / Center
Michigan Player Comparison - David Baas (2001-2004): Baas was a strong player in the middle of Michigan's offensive line and also was the winner of the 2004 Rimington Award.
The Bottom Line: Cole is an outstanding high school player. He moves exceptionally well for his size and shows a high level of aggression on the field. When a player can combine size, speed and athletiscm, along with a nasty level of aggression, it is a beautiful sight to watch and enjoy. Cole has all the measurables and he plays with the aggression that every great offensive lineman needs to have.
In many ways he is still raw and that makes this young player even more exciting to watch. His body will develop and get stronger. His flexibility will improve to allow him to move even better. His understanding of interior line play will become sharper.
Cole is going to be another fine young lineman that Michigan fans will enjoy watching as he grows into the high expectations of a Michigan lineman. Every major college program wanted to land this young man and it is great news that he has chosen to help Michigan win championships.