The Michigan Wolverines will return a key leader on their offensive line next season.
Junior center Mason Cole, who was on the All-Big Ten second team in 2016, announced Wednesday he will return to Michigan for his senior season as the Wolverines prepared for the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Mason Cole says he's coming back to Michigan for his senior season in 2017.
— Josh Newkirk (@JoshNewkirk7) December 29, 2016
According to Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Cole made the announcement at Fogo de Chao, a restaurant in South Beach.
“I’m coming back,” Snyder quoted Cole as saying. “It’s a better decision, another year to get stronger to get better.”
A two-year starter, Cole was Michigan’s starting tackle as a sophomore in 2015, starting all 13 games for the Wolverines before moving to center for his junior year. After his sophomore year, Cole, a Tarpon Springs, Fla., native, was named a 2015 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.
As a junior, Cole has started all 12 games at center in the 2016 season and was named Michigan’s Lineman of the Game against Wisconsin, Michigan State and Maryland.
Cole, who has started 37 consecutive games for the Wolverines, was also named to the Outland and Rimington Trophy awards watch lists prior to the 2016 season.
The Michigan offensive line graduates three starters following this season, making Cole’s decision particularly critical. He joins FB Khalid Hill and DL Maurice Hurst as Wolverines who have announced they are returning next season.