Cole, LSU facing Irish in Sugar

Published 8:50 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2007

When LSU tight end Mit Cole takes the field of the Louisiana Superdome tonight against Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, it will mark the third straight year that the former Picayune Memorial High standout plays in a bowl game for the Tigers.

This one, though, will by far be the biggest as LSU, ranked fourth nationally, meets perhaps the most historic college football program ever and Cole hopes this one will be the best bowl outing as well.

Cole is slated to start his third straight game for LSU, when the Tigers take on the 14th-ranked Fighting Irish. Just three years ago, the 6-foot-4, 258-pound junior was earning honors on the prep level for the Maroon Tide, and now he is playing in one of the biggest college games of the year.

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Cole is following in the footsteps of his dad Hoppy, who was an all-state player at Pascagoula High and then went on to play offensive line for Ole Miss in the early 1980’s.

Ironically, it was against those same Rebels that the younger Cole got his first collegiate start two months ago.

Cole then followed that with a start against Arkansas, as the Tigers captured their final two Southeastern Conference games to earn a BCS berth and a trip to the Big Easy for tonight’s game.

For the season, Cole has two catches for 28 yards.

Cole has been mostly a blocker for the Tigers since arriving in Baton Rouge two seasons ago, but has seen action in mostly a reserve role all three years at LSU.

Last season, he played in four games against North Texas, Appalachian State, Ole Miss and Miami in the Chickfil- A Peach Bowl and has one catch against North Texas.

As a freshman, he broke onto the college scene seeing action in five games as blocker in short-yardage situations and he saw some special teams duty. He played against Iowa in the Capital One Bowl to cap that season.

In addition to this being his third bowl game, Cole also was a part of the Southeastern Conference championship game last year when LSU played Georgia.

Cole didn’t start his prep career with the Maroon Tide. He played his first two seasons on the high school level at South Jones, before coming to Picayune as a senior when his dad’s business moved the family to Picayune.

As a senior at Picayune, Cole was one of the most sought after recruits in the state and especially in South Mississippi.

At LSU, Cole hasn’t limited his success to just the gridiron. He was named to the 20005 SEC Academic Honor Roll for his work in the classroom as well.

Mit hasn’t been the only Cole family member to excel on the gridiron for the Maroon Tide, though, as his brother Drew is following in his footsteps. Drew just completed a junior season at Picayune in which he earned all-state honors as a cornerback, and also was a key contributor at running back and on special teams.