RILEY COLE | South Alabama | IB | #4 | rSr | 6024 | 242 | Oneonta, AL | Oneonta HS | 11.03.97
A big fish in a small pond, Cole assumed various roles for the Jaguars over the last few seasons. Working in an on-ball role early in his career, Cole made the full transition to inside linebacker in 2020. The dividends were huge for the talented linebacker, boasting surprisingly natural eyes and reactionary skills working downhill in the run game. Cole is a player who always seems to be around the ball, playing with an outstanding motor and effort to make plays all over the field. With the Senior Bowl transitioning to the University of South Alabama this year, Cole became the first Jaguar to represent his home team in their home stadium among the most talented seniors in the nation. Cole is well put together, bringing a lot of pop in the run game with a powerful lower half that plays through contact. He is a smooth mover that covers a lot of ground working laterally. With limited experience playing off the ball, Cole still processes slow at times, and just needs more live reps. Despite his athleticism, he does not make much impact in pass coverage. He doesn’t have much of a feel for route development and how offenses are trying to manipulate him. Couple that with his short arms and he is a player that struggles to close passing windows in zone coverage. Cole’s impact on passing downs comes almost exclusively as a sub-package rusher, but with limited length that isn’t very translatable to the next level. There are baseline traits to like, but limitations are clear. Special teams will have to be a major area of impact for Cole to stick as he gets more comfortable in his off-ball role.
Raised outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Three-star recruit according to 247Sports. Earned his degree in Exercise Science and is pursuing a Master’s degree in the same field. Played in three games before suffering a season-ending injury. Started 8 of 12 games played as a freshman. Played in three games before suffering another season-ending injury. Played in 12 games as a junior. Played in 10 games as a senior. Parents are married. Father played football at West Alabama. A Baltimore Ravens fan. Received a Senior Bowl invite.
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