In the 2010 class, one of Alabama's top signees was wide receiver Keiwone Malone out of Memphis (Tenn.) Mitchell. In recruiting Malone, Tide coaches look to have found something else that they like in his teammate Nathan Cole out of the class of 2012. Early last week Cole camped in Tuscaloosa and his performance was strong enough for him to leave with an offer.
"I went down early last week," Cole said of his trip to Tuscaloosa. "I was there Monday and Tuesday. It was fun. It was an experience. I learned some new things. I talked to Coach Saban in his office and he told me about the offer. He said he liked what I was doing in the camp and he said he hoped I had a great season."
Cole's junior season will be nothing new for the experienced athlete. While Keiwone Malone was putting up absurd numbers at receiver in the Mitchell offense, Cole was quietly making plenty of noise himself. As a sophomore, Cole had 635 receiving yards, seven touchdowns and five two-point conversions.
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Cole's father, Nate Cole Sr., is the head coach at Mitchell and he has been asking a lot of his son for a few years now. Cole has been a full-time starter since his freshman season and should see his role only continue to increase as a junior.
"I'm just focused on catching the ball," he said. "Whatever comes my way, I'll catch it. My main goal is to win state but we have a pretty good team. We have a running back (Memphis commit) Artaves Gibson and a new quarterback coming in that's pretty good."
As for recruiting, Alabama becomes Cole's second verbal offer, with one coming from Ole Miss during his sophomore year. Through the recruitment of his teammate, Cole is already fairly familiar with the Crimson Tide program.
"I've been down there to Tuscaloosa," he said. "I've taken some visits with Keiwone. It's a good program. I like their academics too."
While there is an interest in Alabama, two schools that Cole has always been interested in are Texas and Oregon.
"I like their passing games," he said. "With me being a receiver, I know they're going to pass the ball and I like that about them."
The rest of the summer, Cole will be attending team 7-on-7 events at Jackson State and Tennessee State as well as the BadgerSports 7on7 national championships in Tuscaloosa with his Tennessee all-star team.