Cole will put off NFL, return to Wolverines for ’17

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Miami Beach, Fla. — Michigan center Mason Cole was hanging around with fellow offensive linemates Kyle Kalis and Erik Magnuson at an Orange Bowl-sponsored dinner Wednesday night soaking in his final days of playing with them.

Kalis and Magnuson will be playing their final game for Michigan on Friday in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.

But this will not be the final game for Cole, who was considering leaving early for the NFL.

“Yeah, I’m coming back,” Cole said.

He was then loudly cheered by Magnuson and Kalis.

“Yeah! He’s coming back! Ohhhhh!” they cheered in unison.

Cole is the third player in the last week to say he’s returning for the 2017 season. Defensive lineman Maurice Hurst and fullback Khalid Hill also have said they will be back.

Cole said he heard back from the NFL Advisory board but had already made up his mind to return. He spoke to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh for about a half hour and discussed the pros and cons of leaving.

“What he sees in my future and what he thinks would be good for me,” Cole said. “I trust him and trust his insight. I think I made the right decision.”

Cole started his first two seasons at left tackle and moved to center this season. He said the position suits him.

“I think I got better but there’s still plenty to work on,” Cole said.

Butt earns another award

Michigan’s Jake Butt, a co-captain and the Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end, has won the Senior CLASS Award, chosen by a national vote of Division I Football Bowl Subdivision coaches, national media and fans.

The award is annually given to the most outstanding senior student-athlete who displays achievement in the community, classroom, character and competition. Butt is the first Michigan player to earn the award.

“This (award’s) cool especially because it’s a combination of everything you do,” Butt said Wednesday night. “On the field is what most people notice. But a lot of people don’t really notice what you do off the field. I put a lot of work in the classroom — I finished the semester with a 3.6. Being a captain speaks on leadership. Being an example in the community is always important.”

Butt is fighting a cold and has lost his voice a bit. But he said it’s not limiting, and he has been practicing.