May 23, 2014 at 7:25 am

Allen Trieu

Michigan State target Brian Cole working with former NFL players

Brian Cole, right, works with Stu Schweigert at the Alpha 1 Fitness facility. (Allen Trieu / Scout.com)

An ankle injury has kept Brian Cole, the state of Michigan’s top rising senior football prospect, according to Scout.com, out of offseason camps and events. That does not mean, however, that the Saginaw Heritage product, recruited as both a safety and wide receiver, has been taking it easy.

After dropping to 180 pounds, Cole wanted to regain the weight he lost after the injury while increasing strength and explosion. Enter Monty Brown of Alpha 1 Fitness, a former NFL player and professional wrestler, who has tested Cole’s limits and gotten him back to nearly 200 pounds while making significant gains in his conditioning and strength numbers.

“What I try to do with all my athletes is increase power, increase strength, flexibility, and make their mind stronger,” Brown says. “I believe if you make the mind strong, the body will follow. The things we do are a lot of stretching, power movements, and plyometrics. We make the mind stronger, the body stronger, to prove to not only the state, but nationwide, that Brian is one of the top athletes in the country.”

There are days, according to Cole’s father, Brian Cole Sr., that his son can barely move after leaving Brown’s gym. The physical relentlessness of that training is supplemented by Cole’s time at Impact Training, where former Purdue standout and NFL draftee Stu Schweigert works with him on his speed and flexibility, but also the mental aspect of the game.

“One concern I had with Brian is he suffered a leg injury at the end of his season, so he hadn’t been doing too much as far as movement and training,” Cole Sr. said. “He was doing a lot of strength training, and strength training is great if you supplement that with stretching, form-running. You’re building up muscles, you can get tight, so I want to make sure he’s still flexible.”

Flexibility as far as position has made Cole highly recruited, as well. Michigan State offered him and the option is open for him to play either side of the ball, but defensive back appears to be the more likely destination of he chooses the Spartans.

“I have a very great bond with Michigan State,” Cole said. “I just like how Coach Dantonio always takes time to come up and talk to me individually, just to catch up with me and get to know me better.”

The Spartans will have to battle Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State and others, but a decision is not likely to come until after he is able to take a few official visits.

“I’m looking for a good bond with the teammates and the coaches, and a good atmosphere to be there for four years,” Cole said. “My mom and dad and I have been talking about December (to decide). I don’t know when in December, but it will be around that month.”

That will also give him time to make good on the goals he has set for his Heritage Hawks.

“We have to go to the playoffs,” he said. “I want a state championship before I graduate. For me, I really don’t have any goals except to play my heart out and never take a play off. I’m not coming off the field for one play. I’m not taking a break.”

Brown and Schweigert will help make that goal a reality.

“Wherever ends up going,” Brown says, “He will be totally ready and I will make sure of that.”

Five-star set to visit

The nation’s top tight end, Avon (Conn.) Old Farms’ Chris Clark, recently reported that he will visit Michigan State and Michigan on June 18-19. Clark is 6-foot-6 and 247 pounds, with excellent hands and good blocking ability. Clark was recently upgraded to a five-star by Scout.com. He was offered by the Spartans this spring.

"I wanted that one, too,” he told Scout’s Greg Pickel about the MSU offer. “I just like the way they play. They just play tough football, and Coach Dantonio is just seems like a really cool guy. They win a lot – they just won the Rose Bowl – and I think they use the tight end well. They’re a pro-style offense so it gets you ready for the NFL. I think it’s a good fit."

New offer to Canadian standout

The Spartans have gone up to Canada and offered one of the top prospects in North America -- St. Catharines (Ontario) defensive end Neville Gallimore. An athletic 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior, Gallimore recently received offers from Notre Dame and Ohio State, to add to existing offers from Oklahoma, Miami, UCLA, Wisconsin and others.

More information

Brian Cole profile: http://foxs.pt/1crFg7s

Chris Clark profile: http://foxs.pt/1nj2sjz

Neville Gallimore profile: http://foxs.pt/1oZD9CT

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan State recruiting column appears weekly at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.