Incoming freshman safety Jarett Cole comes to Georgia Tech from Norcross High, joining former Blue Devils star Clinton Lynch at Tech. Cole, who is 5-foot-10, has added about 15 pounds, to 192, from his weight at the beginning of his senior season. He was a three-star prospect (247 Sports) with a slew of offers, including Iowa, Kansas State, West Virginia, Nebraska and Duke. The only safety in his class, he'll join a spot where the competition will be ample. A.J. Gray, Corey Griffin, Lawrence Austin and Shaun Kagawa all have playing experience and all have at least two more years of eligibility (including the 2016 season) At 5-10, he isn't the ideal size (Jamal Golden was 6-0 and Isaiah Johnson was 6-2) but he's a physical player with a nose for the ball. It's hardly condemning. Somehow, Jemea Thomas made 5-9 work. He'll wear No. 35, last worn by linebacker Tyler Marcordes. The next interview with a member of the Tech freshman class will be posted Wednesday.
What he’s most excited about: “I’m most excited about the experience with the college atmosphere,” he said. “That was my thing – moving out of the house. I’m pretty much excited about the experience and the atmosphere and getting ready to work.”
His goal for this year: To play this season. “It’s going to take me working hard and knowing the plays,” he said. “It just comes down to who can make plays on the field. The best players are going to play. I’ve got to make plays.”
What he was making sure to bring with him: “I’ve got a determined attitude to do a whole lot of things. I’ve got my mindset of what I want to do and I’m not going to let anything stop me.”
What he has to work on: “I told myself the other day I probably have to work on being patient. That’s something I’ve got to work on. When I see something, I like to go get it, but I’ve got to be patient. That’s the biggest thing I’ve got to work on.”
What he wants to be able to say at the end of his Tech career: “That I got my degree and that I made use my time when I was there and I was successful, whether it’s going to the NFL or going to the work force.”
What he brings to the team: “Most people say I’m a big leader. I’m a big, vocal leader, but to be a vocal leader, you’ve got to make plays so people respect you. That’s the type of person I am.”
Who recruited him: Defensive coordinator Ted Roof. "Coach Roof, he's straightforward. He keeps it real, and I keep it real with him. That's the type of relationship we've got."
Where he might have gone if not Tech: Possibly Iowa or Kansas State. “They were in my top two, but Georgia Tech, I always had a feeling I was going to end up going there. From the time I went to their junior day, I could see myself playing there.”
A memorable part of his recruitment: Coaches don’t necessarily make scholarship offers through an actual mail. And a prospect of Cole’s caliber – he said he received more than 30 offers – gets a lot of mail. “Sometimes you just throw it to the side,” he said. However, West Virginia happened to make its offer in a letter. He initially wasn’t going to open it up, but decided to, and found the offer contained within. “So thankfully I opened all my letters and, that particular letter said they offered me a scholarship,” he said. “That was pretty crazy.”
What makes him different: “I’m actually from Charlotte, North Carolina, but I moved down here when I was going to the 11th grade,” he said. “I didn’t have any offers or anything. I was good, but I didn’t have any offers. I played my tail off and I started racking (offers) up.”
Roof's evaluation: “Really good hips, feet, anticipates receivers’ breaks well. Is a physical kid. He’s got a chance to be a nickel and a dime. He’s got a lot of versatility and can maybe do a lot of jobs for us.”
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