Feb. 21, 2008

The University of Notre Dame baseball team welcomes 19 newcomers to the diamond this season. The class was ranked as one of the top in the entire county — fourth by Baseball America and sixth by Collegiate Baseball. In the coming weeks, UND.com will feature each Irish newcomer leading up to the team’s Feb. 22 opener against Liberty. The 14th Notre Dame player in the spotlight is right-handed hurler Cole Johnson.

Hometown: Hudson, Ohio
High School: Hudson H.S.
Position: RHP
Height/Weight: 6-3/200
Bat/Throw: R/R

If you were to play another sport at Notre Dame, what would it be?

Best thing about the team:
Definitely the guys…but the uniforms are pretty cool too.

What are three words that best describe coach Schrage?
Quiet, observant, composed.

Which professional player would you compare yourself to?
Justin Verlander.

What is your favorite major league ballpark?
Jacob’s Field (and it will always be The Jake to me…not Progressive Park or whatever it’s called now).

What would be the title of your autobiography?
I’ll get back to you when I’ve done something significant enough to write a book about myself.

What is your favorite/most memorable sports moment?
When Coach Lawler called and offered me a spot on the ND baseball roster.

Are you a fan of the American League’s designated hitter or do you prefer the National League style?
I like the DH.

Should college baseball switch to wooden bats?

Who is the best hitter and pitcher in major league baseball?
Albert Pujols, Jonathan Papelbon.

Favorite baseball team:
Cleveland Indians.

Favorite player:
Haha…it’s gotta still be Manny Ramirez.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

Why did you choose Notre Dame?
I chose Notre Dame because I’ve always wanted to go to school here. I was going to come here whether I could play baseball or not. Nowhere else combines such a dynamic academic, sport, and religious culture. It’s a very special place.

— ND —