James Cook: Carrying on the Cook Legacy

Written by James Cook and Evan Miller 
Published Saturday, March 26, 2016

What is up everyone? I am very excited to be brining everyone my second RecruitDiary. Last time I talked a lot about how I do not want to stay in my brother Dalvin’s shadow and I want to be even greater than him. I am part of the class of 2019 which in my opinion is the most talented class in the nation, there are so many of us who will be major impact players at the next level and athletically we are just as good as some of the seniors. Even though I still have three more years of high school football left, I recently made a decision that will change my life forever and that will take some pressure off of me and my family as I go through these next couple years.

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My recruitment started very early. I received my first offer when I was in the eighth grade, but unlike most kids I had someone to go to ask questions. I could go to my brother Dalvin, who was one of the top players in his class, and ask any question and know that I would get an answer that could help me. After my freshman season, in which I had a great year, I was offered by a lot of colleges and I am so grateful that they see the same potential in me as I see in myself. I visited a couple schools, but when it came down to it I could never get over the fact that one place is like home to me. Tallahassee, Florida is like another home to me, I have been around the program for a long time and have been there on numerous occasions to watch my brother. I decided to commit to Florida State and make the commitment to continue the Cook legacy as a Seminole. A lot of people will question the decision to commit as a freshman, because it is something unheard of. Nobody commits as a freshman and if they do nobody really takes much stock in it because they are still so far from signing day. I felt like it was a great move, and a smart decision for myself, but I do not let it go to my head. I know that I still have to work hard and I still want to be known as the best player in the class of 2019. The biggest reason I committed to FSU was because they treat me like I’m family. A family atmosphere is really important to me and I wanted to attend a school where the team was a family, everybody there knows each other and everybody looks out for each other. The family atmosphere in Tallahassee is something that can not be matched by any other program in the nation. Speaking of family, the decision to commit impacted my family a lot. It means that another Cook will be at FSU to carry on the family name and make everybody proud. It is not too far from home, which was an important factor, so all of my family will be able to see me play just like we all go see Dalvin play. A lot of people thought that I was going to go my own way, and pave my own path and not follow in Dalvin’s footsteps. I just want to say that I knew I was going to follow him, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t pave my own way and do my own things. The most important thing for me is that our team is obviously competitive and wins national titles, but I am going to break all of Dalvin’s records. I am ultimately going to be better than him at FSU and people are going to remember the name James Cook. Even though I am committed to FSU, and I am so proud to be committed to my dream school, I will still be taking visits over the next few years to make sure I make the most of this experience and learn about all my options.

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Now that high school football is over, the big thing for football players is going to camps and trying to get better in the offseason. Recently The Opening, a prestigious camp put on by Nike, was in Miami. Some of the city’s top players were there and I was lucky enough to be invited as just a freshman, something they rarely do. At the camp I was named the MVP of the running back group and was very close to being invited to the finals in Oregon. In my mind I think I should have been invited to the finals and become the first freshman to ever get the invite. I think that I showed that I can handle playing with some of the best players in the nation and that I am one of the best running backs in the nation no matter the class. It was awesome to be named an MVP because it just showed that no matter a person’s age, everybody is the same when they put on cleats and step on the field. Offseason camps in general are really cool, they are able to give exposure to kids that may not normally get it. The Opening is great experience for young guys like myself, and it gives us a glimpse of what to work for in the coming years, I still think I should have been invited to the finals though, haha.

Pictures taken by Tom Hauck and are courtesy of Student Sports
Pictures taken by Tom Hauck and are courtesy of Student Sports

Along with camps seven on seven football is becoming a really big deal for recruits during the offseason. I was supposed to play for the South Florida Express, the best team in Florida and one of the best in the nation. However things quickly changed after I realized that the main focus in seven on seven football is wide receivers and defensive backs. There is no need for a running back and I was never getting thrown to so I stopped having fun. Football is supposed to be fun, and a person should never continue doing something that makes them unhappy. Therefore I stopped and decided that it would be better if I didn’t play seven on seven football. I decided to spend the spring getting mentally and physically ready for next season and also focusing on my schoolwork. Seven on seven football is very controversial and I will say that for wide receivers and defensive backs it can be very helpful but other than that I do not really see why people want to focus on it heavily. It resembles nothing what people love about football, which is hard-nosed tackling and having a great physical matchup. I honestly can not wait for next season.

 

Follow me on Twitter @TheGreat__4 to get updates on my season and also follow @RecruitDiaries to get updates about when all the diaries are posted.

     -James Cook

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