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Nate Cole: An Appreciation

Cole had his best season, while the Bearcats had one of their worst.

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Career Numbers

  • 95 receptions (career-high 57 in 2016)
  • 964 yards (career-high 518 in 2016)
  • 9.1 yards per reception
  • 7 touchdown receptions (career-high four in 2016)

Nate Cole has vastly improved in his years as a Bearcat, going from a wideout who comes off the bench to an everyday starter and a good one at that. Although his senior season was nothing for the Bearcats to brag about as a team, his stats jumped miles ahead of where he was in his past seasons.

The 6’1” 210 pound wide receiver hails from Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended Mitchell High School and worked his way to being a three star recruit when he chose Cincinnati. After redshirting his first year on campus, Cole had to fight for every single snap competing against the likes of Shaq Washington, Chris Moore, and other Bearcat receivers who made a big impact on the program. Cole's first couple of years proved to be difficult to find playing time, but in his senior season, he made the leap to an every down player and a top target for the Bearcat's offense.

As I listed to begin the article, Cole’s statistics were certainly strong and he was one of the most consistent threats that the UC offense could find through the aerial attack. His 57 receptions and four touchdowns were both good for second most on the team, and his 518 receiving yards ranked third on the squad. These numbers would shock you if you were to see his previous seasons' statistics with UC... so here you are. In his first three years with the team, Cole combined for 38 catches, 446 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Crazy to think that his senior season was statistically superior to his previous 3 seasons combined, but once the logjam at wideout ahead of him cleared up, he made the most of his opportunity.

The Best of the Best

Nov. 11, 2015 at Houston

Cole produced a then career-high 66 yards and a touchdown on three receptions as the Bearcats came up just short of upsetting the Cougars on the road.

Sept. 10, 2016 at Purdue

As the UC offense fired on all cylinders, Cole was one of the pistons, catching six passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns, the first and only multi-touchdown game of his career.

Sept. 15, 2016 vs. Houston

Cole just had a thing for shining against the Cougars. This time UC didn’t come as close to winning (40-16 loss), but Cole brought in a career-best nine passes for 60 yards and also scored a touchdown.

A Final Goodbye

As a person who has personally gotten to know Cole over the years, his success could not have happened to a better person. I was in multiple classes with Nate in my time at UC from 2012 to 2016 and can honestly say that he is one of the nicest and most genuine guys that I have ever met. His success on the field is well deserved and although he wasn't the type of player to make headlines every day or be on the front page of the newspapers after games, Cole will certainly be missed.