A scary collision in November of last year has cost Michael Cole the remainder of his football playing career.
During the process of making a tackle in Virginia Tech’s loss to Florida State Nov. 8, the redshirt freshman defensive back suffered a frightening injury that was later diagnosed as a cervical neck sprain. Cole spent one night in the hospital and, obviously, missed the remainder of the 2012 season.
After undergoing surgery, “he was still having persistent symptoms,” leading to today’s announcement that “it was determined that Cole should not continue to play football due to a higher risk of further injury to his neck and spine.”
While he will continue his rehab and is expected to make a full recovery, his playing career has come to an end.
“I would just like to thank Coach Beamer, Coach Stinespring – who recruited me – and all of the coaches in making my dreams come true,” a statement from Cole read. “It truly has been an honor and a blessing to be led by such a highly respected group of people. I would also like to thank my friends and family back home and the entire Hokie Nation, which has supported me throughout my career.
“It pains me that I will never be able to put the pads on again for this prestigious program and university, but in spite of all this, I will forever be a Hokie.”
Cole’s on-field career may be over, but the release states that he will remain an active part of the team on the sidelines in the future. Additionally, Cole qualifies for a medical disqualification and will remain on scholarship. That scholarship will not count against Tech’s limit of 85.
“I am disappointed that Michael Cole will no longer be playing football at Virginia Tech,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “Good players with great character are hard to replace. I believe Michael has a great future no matter what road he decides to take.”
After redshirting as a true freshman in 2011, Cole played in all 10 games prior to the injury. He started four of those games as a nickel back, recording 43 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble.