For a year at Butler Community College and two more years as a Jayhawk for the University of Kansas, Codey Cole III knows how to tackle his opponents and make his mark on the football field. However, with the way COVID-19 has taken over sports and the world, Cole’s NFL dreams have been put on hold.
Cole, who’s already graduated from the KU has been biding his time. He knows that there are a lot of things that are not in his control.
"All my faith in God," Cole said. "It’s really confusing for everybody right now."
Cole spent two years dominating the Big 12 as Kansas made their move to climb out of the basement. While the record wasn’t improved over the previous season, they still won three games and were competitive in most. The improvement was noted and respect by most within the Big 12.
Cole finished his senior year with 20 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. His numbers while at Butler were equally impressive as he often demanded double teams. That Butler team was considered one of the best defenses in the NJCAA. He helped turn Kansas defense that gave up over 500 points in multiple seasons to a respectable defense that almost took down the Sooners in Norman.
"I’ve had a lot of adversities that I’ve gone through," Cole said. "My time at the prep school in Georgia prepared to get through almost anything."
With COVID-19 canceling sports and other shops, Cole has to be creative in training for the upcoming NFL draft. No gyms are open, so using equipment of a mentor has been his go-to.
"Wayne Simien is my mentor and has some free weights to help me," Cole said. "He’s always looking out for you. He’s a good mentor."
Cole knows he has to make gains in the weight room and to stay in shape as the opportunities to be seen by NFL scouts is the best way to make it to the NFL.
"You'll never know when it is going to be end," Cole said. You just have to be ready and stay conditioned."
The NFL draft is scheduled for April Thursday, April 23, less than a month from now. Cole had a local workout with the Chiefs on April 3 but that was canceled. Those workouts are crucial to being seen by scouts.
"I had a decent pro day," Cole said about his March 5 workout in Lawrence.
His agent Corey Williams is going to do his part. Which is to get Cole in front of as many scouts as possible. With the current climate of all sports being suspended and nowhere to train, it makes Williams job a bit tougher than usual.
There are over 250 players selected in the NFL draft each season. That’s 250 different opportunities to live a childhood’s dream of playing professional football.
"I just need one look, Cole said. "Making the league is the only goal."