James Cook: Not Just Dalvin’s Brother
I want to introduce myself to the world. My name is James Cook and I am the best running back in the class of 2019. You may know my brother, Dalvin Cook, who is the starting running back at Florida State, and the best running back in college football. I play football for the Miami Central Rockets, one of the best teams in both Florida, and the nation. The four most important things to me are God, family, education, and football.
I am six feet tall, 190 pounds, which I believe is a great size for a running back. I can use both speed and power to elude defenders attempting to bring me down. The best thing about playing running back is knowing that when I have the ball in my hands, it is up to me to make a play. However, being a successful running back doesn’t just come from individual skills. Without a productive offensive line that is able to hold blocks and create lanes, nothing would come from the run game. This year my offensive line helped me have an amazing season, and one that I am really proud of. On 92 carries, I rushed for close to 715 yards and 8 touchdowns. I still have a little work to do though to match Dalvin’s senior season of 1,940 yards and 24 touchdowns. Watching my brother play just makes me want to play better. He is the most complete back in college football. He can catch the ball, block, and of course, run the rock. There is no question that I model my game after him.
I currently hold fifteen offers from some of the top programs in the nation. Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, and Ohio State have all offered me a chance to continue my education and play football at their universities. The most meaningful offer was probably the Miami one. I have been a fan of the ‘Canes as long as I can remember. I received the offer in eighth grade and I was on the news too. It was an amazing feeling knowing that my dreams were starting to unfold.
My style of play is very versatile but I think my game works the best in a spread offense. I really like to catch the ball out of the backfield and play in open space. As I get older though, it will be interesting to see if my style of play changes since I still have some growing left to do. Although there are a lot of positives about what I do, there are things I still need to work on if I want to keep growing as a player. I want to get more explosive and faster. The quicker you are, the harder you are to tackle.
This season went really well for us as a team. Although we opened the season against DeMatha on ESPN with a loss (we came out flat), we really gelled and came together as a team to play some amazing football during the rest of the season. We ended the regular season with two losses but had a lot of momentum going into the playoffs. We rolled through the first couple rounds of the playoffs, and made it to the state championship game against Armwood. They were no match for us, and we won the game 48-13. In the state championship game, I ran for close to two hundred yards and three touchdowns, and was named MVP. I learned a lot this season as a freshman playing varsity football; I learned that I have to play smarter at this level than at other levels and can’t just rely on my physical gifts.
I was invited and recently attended the Army All-American Combine in Texas. It was a really fun and cool experience. I performed well and showed what I have to offer. I still know that I need to grind and work hard in order to be where I want in three years. I am also already committed to play in the Army game during my senior year. It is an honor to know that I am one of the few to be invited to play in the game, let alone one of the only players to be invited as a freshman. I was also named a MaxPreps Freshman All-American. I really expected to be named an All-American because I wholeheartedly believe that I am the best freshman running back in the nation, and it’s not because I am cocky. If you don’t think you are the best at what you do, you are doing it wrong.
A lot of people think of me as Dalvin’s little brother and nothing more. I do not want to be known as that forever. I am writing my own story and traveling my own path in life and in football. He casts a big shadow because of his talent and all the great things he has accomplished in high school, in college, and eventually what he will accomplish a lot in the pros, but I want to surpass them all, and create an even bigger legacy than he did. My brother is someone I look up to and is one of my heroes. He is a great football player, a great person, and an even better brother. However, when people think of Miami Central football, I want them to think of James AND Dalvin Cook, the two best running backs to step on the field.