- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
An unexpected noon kickoff Saturday forced Class of 2014 offensive lineman Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) to miss the first quarter of USC’s 38-17 victory against Arizona State. A late arrival at the Coliseum didn’t prevent Cole from listing the Trojans in his top three following an unofficial visit to campus over the weekend though.
“L.A. was awesome,” the 6-foot-5, 266-pound Cole said. “We were a little bit late to the game because there aren’t too many good flights from out here that early. We missed the first quarter of the game, but it was just awesome. There was a good atmosphere. After the game we went into the locker room and met a couple of the players.”
Cole also met 2013 four-star offensive line commit Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and fellow 2014 ESPN Watch List member Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School), a USC offensive line commit. Cole spent time with USC offensive line coach James Cregg on Sunday before flying home.
“We talked football for a little bit and we talked recruiting, too,” Cole said. “Coach Cregg told me how much they really want me. He told me how big of a part I’d play in the program. It was exciting.”
Cole took an unofficial visit to Michigan on Oct. 20 for the Wolverines’ 12-10 win over rival Michigan State, and compared both trips.
“They are different universities for sure,” Cole said of USC and Michigan. “Ann Arbor is more like a big college town. The University of Michigan kind of is Ann Arbor. Both atmospheres were great though. ... I just enjoyed it all at USC. Walking around campus on Sunday morning, seeing it a bit more than in the summer, it was great. Hanging out with Coach Cregg was great and all the facilities there were too.”
Cole, who will take an unofficial visit to Notre Dame this weekend, said distance will not play a factor in his decision. He had visited USC this past summer for the renowned Rising Stars Camp.
“I talked it over with my parents for a little bit and, one, I’m going to be real busy, especially during the football season,” he said. “I won’t have too much time to think about being homesick. It won’t be a big deal for me.”
Cole also offered a possible timeline for a commitment.
“USC is definitely one of my top schools, definitely in the top three,” Cole said. “Later in my recruitment, once I narrow it down, I’ll probably make another trip out to Los Angeles in the summer for camp. After I make it out to the camp, that’s probably when I’ll decide on which school I’ll commit to.”