Georgia has produced several of the best linebackers in college football in recent years, creating a virtuous cycle in recruiting. If you’re one of the best high school linebackers in America why wouldn’t you want to come play for the two-time defending national champions in Athens?
Apparently the top player in the state of Virginia for the 2024 class couldn’t come up with a good reason not to.
Chris Cole of Salem, Virginia is not only the top rated player in the Old Dominion, he’s also the #56 player I. The nation in the 247Sports Composite, the #6 linebacker I. The country, and the 27th member of Kirby Smart’s fantastic 2024 recruiting class. The 6’3, 215 pound standout with a 3.6 GPA chose the Red and Black over fellow finalists Penn State, Virginia Tech, Miami, Southern Cal, and Tennessee. He also claimed offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Stanford.
Cole’s junior highlights are some of the funnest to watch of any prospect in this class:
We talk a lot about Georgia recruiting players who are clearly the best athlete on the field. Cole would pretty clearly be the best athlete on a lot of fields. Cole is also a standout on the track, finishing 4th at the Nike Indoor Nationals in the 60 meter hurdles, a pretty solid accomplishment for a guy of his size.
Cole made the switch from defensive back to linebacker going into his junior season, but clearly retains the smoothness in coverage you don’t normally see from a linebacker of Cole’s size. He does a great job playing the ball and is instinctive in space. A lot of linebackers look lost in space. This kid is a danger to the Will Robinsons who happen into his zone.
In the running game Cole is a physical, downhill player who gets to the ball, even through traffic, and can deliver a lick when he gets there.
One of the more interesting aspects of Cole’s prospect profile is his physical upside. He’s long limbed and has the frame to add a good bit of muscle. Cole reminds me a little of Channing Tindal in that respect, as well as generally in his build. That should be a pretty exciting prospect for Bulldog fans.
Cole’s pledge helps Georgia stay way out in front in this year’s 247Sports rankings ahead of challengers Ohio State, Florida, and Alabama. There aren’t many holes in this class, and at this point the ‘Dawgs are really just polishing things up with the final pieces of an elite class. Cole should fit right in.