Texas adds speedy, productive SJSU transfer CB Jay'Vion Cole

Texas gets a possible starter and impact player in the secondary with San Jose State transfer sophomore CB Jay'Vion Cole late this weekend.
Jay'Vion Cole
Jay'Vion Cole / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On3's Hayes Fawcett reported via a post on Instagram on May 5 that former San Jose State Spartans sophomore transfer cornerback Jay'Vion Cole committed to Texas football. Cole committed to Texas over other schools that offered him in the NCAA Transfer Portal, including the Auburn Tigers and Michigan State Spartans.

Texas football lands priority SJSU transfer CB Jay'Vion Cole

Texas hosted Cole for a multi-day official visit to Austin from May 2-4. Cole said that the visit to Texas this weekend was "amazing", which apparently led him to shut down his portal recruitment without taking any other trips to other schools that wanted him.

Cole was scheduled to visit Auburn starting May 7. But Texas got him to commit before that visit was able to take place early next week.

The 5-foot-11 and 170-pound corner has two years of eligibility remaining. Cole spent one year playing for FCS Cal Poly as a true freshman during the 2022 season. He took his talents to the FBS level when he transferred to San Jose State for his sophomore year last fall.

Cole was a PFF First-Team All-Mountain West selection when he broke onto the scene as one of the most efficient and productive corners in the Group of Five. He ranked second in the Mountain West in pass breakups (10) and tied for sixth in interceptions (three).

Texas is getting the ninth highest-graded cornerback in the Group of Five in 2023 (per PFF). He was also the highest-graded corner in the MWC in overall grade and in coverage grade.

Cole had an interesting journey up to this point of his collegiate career. He was an overlooked corner recruit from Oakland, CA, that signed with Cal Poly during the 2022 cycle. Cole learned quickly and polished his skills to make the jump to the FBS at San Jose State last year.

He was a vital part of a San Jose State secondary that was one of the most improved in the Group of Five in 2023. The Spartans led the Mountain West in pass defense (183.0 passing yards per game allowed).

Before Cole's arrival at San Jose State last season, the Spartans ranked in the bottom half of the MWC in pass defense (217.0 pass yards per game allowed) in 2022.

Despite San Jose State suffering a double-digit defeat at the hands of the USC Trojans in their opener last fall, Cole held up his end of the bargain in pass coverage. Cole was San Jose State's highest graded DB in the loss to USC, allowing no catches on three targets, including one pass breakup.

Cole also played well in his pass coverage assignments when he faced the most productive wideouts in the Group of Five, UNLV's Ricky White III. A potential future early-round NFL Draft pick, White registered nearly 1,500 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2023.

When Cole matched up against White for most of San Jose State's win over UNLV last season, he registered two pass breakups on two targets in pass coverage in that game.

Texas adds valuable depth and speed at CB

The addition of Cole gives the Texas secondary another experienced and proven corner who bolsters the depth at a position that needed it after the departure of junior CB Terrance Brooks last week. Brooks started double-digit games for Texas last season.

Losing him to the portal meant Texas lost over a dozen starts and over 20 games played at a key position in the secondary since 2022.

Cole can challenge another proven returning upperclassman, senior Gavin Holmes, for starting reps at field corner in camp before the upcoming season this fall.

Adding Cole also means the Longhorns can be more patient with some of their younger talented freshmen in the cornerback room. Guys like Kobe Black, Santana Wilson, and Wardell Mack won't have to be rushed into action in key live-game situations this upcoming season in the SEC.

Another big aspect of Cole's addition to the CB position is speed. Cole ran a sub-10.7-second 100-meter dash time as a senior in high school. He's faster with his long speed and has quicker hips than Brooks.

Texas has plenty of speed to put at field corner this fall between the sneaky-fast Holmes and a proven track guy joining the mix like Cole.

Cole can hold his own in man and zone coverage

Last season at San Jose State, Cole showed he could excel in different man and zone coverage schemes in the secondary. He's got the instincts and experience playing in different zone coverage schemes at Texas.

Cole was consistently put in situations where he had to take on some of the better wide receivers in the MWC, and occasionally high-level talent against P5 teams (including USC last season). He graded out in the top half of starting MWC corners in 2023 in coverage grade in zone and man schemes.

In man coverage, Cole brings that aforementioned speed and ball skills to help the Longhorns get another lockdown corner and playmaker at the field spot. The 10.6-second 100-meter dash speed will help the Longhorns defend the deep ball and prevent big plays from opponents in the passing game.

Texas taking a broader approach to its portal strategy this offseason

Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns staff has been more open to adding key pieces and experience to both sides of the ball with immediate impact proven guys from the portal this cycle. Texas has nearly added twice as many players from the portal than it did last offseason, with nine.

On the defensive side of the ball, Texas has bolstered the depth and experience in the secondary with guys from the portal in Clemson senior safety transfer Andrew Mukuba and Cole. Texas has also shored up the interior defensive line with a couple of former Arizona Wildcats transferred who followed Johnny Nansen this offseason, Tia Savea and Bill Norton.

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