Amid the current player’s demanding protection upon their return to campus, the UCLA Bruins recruiting class for 2021 got a big boost when they received their latest pledge. Four-star offensive tackle, and a consensus top-30 tackle prospect in the country, Thomas Cole made it official by announcing his commitment to UCLA on Twitter.
Cole becomes commitment No. 10 for the Bruins and leapfrogs Cal in the process in terms of recruiting rankings in the Pac-12. The Bruins now have the conference’s fourth-best recruiting class, jumping Cal but staying behind Washington who moved up from fifth to third over the weekend.
He stands as UCLA’s second-highest rated recruit that has committed this year, ranking as a four-star prospect by 247Sports, though the 247Sports Composite has him as a three-start tackle.
He ranks as the 30th-best tackle prospect in the class at 6’7, 265 pounds, and as the composite’s 35th-best prospect in California. Hailing from San Luis Obispo High School, Cole ranks a bit higher on the board for 247Sports in the state of California, hitting 32nd-best in the state.
Cole had over 20 scholarship offers including offers from Pac-12 rivals Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Oregon State, Utah and Washington State as well as from powerhouses such as Michigan.
Currently, Cole projects as a potential 4-7th round NFL draft selection and is compared to current Buffalo Bills tackle Jake Fisher. Greg Biggins — 247Sports National Recruiting Analyst — penned the following of the FIrst-Team OT from Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior list:
Has an ideal tackle frame and is a fluid athlete. Has a basketball background and it shows in how athletic he is. Shows excellent lateral mobility and can get to the second level with ease. Converted tight end and has just one year of OL experience but shows a natural aggressive edge to his game. Can be physical at the point of attack and plays with a nice edge to him. Plays through the whistle and as he adds more size and strength, should become an even more physical player at the point of attack. Has a very nice upside to him projects as a impact upper tier Power 5 starter and future NFL draft pick.
Welcome to Westwood, Thomas! Glad to have ya!