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Miami Central's Dalvin Cook talks about recruiting, Joseph Yearby, Devonta Freeman, Ermon Lane

Dalvin Cook warmed up in his No. 4 jersey before Miami Central’s game against Daytona Beach Mainland on Friday.

Just before walking up as a team captain for the coin toss, Cook was wearing a different number.

Cook donned the No. 3 jersey worn by teammate and close friend Joseph Yearby, who broke his left fibula in Central’s game just a week ago.


“Nobody really knew until I switched and came out the locker room,” said Cook, a University of Florida commitment, before pacing Central with 73 yards on the ground via 22 carries in a 28-15 win.

It was the ultimate tribute Cook could have paid Yearby, a University of Miami running back commit who shed tears several times throughout their last game as high school seniors at Traz Powell Stadium.

After the game, Cook took a few minutes to himself on the bench with a towel over his head to realize what was happening.

“I was just embracing the moment,” Cook said. “We’re going to states four times in a row and it’s kind of a crazy feeling. It’s my last time out here on this turf. “I sat down and really thought about it and I’m going to miss playing with Joe and them guys man. [They’re] my brothers.”

In hopes of finding some clarity with his college decision, Cook is currently on an official visit to the University of Miami on Saturday and Sunday.

Despite being committed to UF since April, Cook has taken an open approach to his recruiting in hopes of finding where his heart is.

In the past week, Cook has signed financial grant-in-aid applications with UM, UF and Florida State, guaranteeing a fulfilled scholarship without the binding nature National Letters of Intent provide. The applications, however, allow those schools to have unlimited contact with a player.

Cook had in-home visits with UM coach Al Golden, UF defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, and LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron last week, and plans to see Golden, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, UF coach Will Muschamp, Texas coach Mack Brown, and Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge and linebackers coach Randy Shannon this week.

Below are some quotes that didn’t make Saturday’s story from Cook regarding his "brothers."

On Yearby and the conversation that led to Cook paying him homage: “Talking to him is always good. Just talking to him period. That’s my brother and we can talk about a lot of stuff.”

On his relationship with former Miami Central star and current FSU running back Devonta Freeman: “I talk to Devonta all the time and he says [I should] do what’s best for me. He’s like a big brother to me so he’s going to support me wherever I go. It’s just like him and [current UM running back] Duke [Johnson] have a great relationship and they at two different schools. So he said he’s going to support me wherever I go.”

On his relationship with Homestead wide receiver Ermon Lane, whom Cook was instrumental in recruiting to UF: “We built a bond where we can talk about anything. When you [are] brothers, you [are] brothers. I just told Ermon we’re going to be brothers for life. We’re brothers for life and once you’re together, we’re together. I just tell him, ‘You just got to make a decision for yourself and I just got to make a decision for me.’ I just got to better my situation.”

Cook plans to make a final college decision after Central’s Class 6A state championship game against Seffner Armwood in Orlando next Saturday.


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It would be nice to see hometown legends Yearby & Cook team up in the Cane backfield for the next 4 years. They've won Championships together for the Rockets, and it would be awesome to see them win one together at the U. Just like the tandem has been unstoppable at Central, I'm sure they'll be just as dangerous at the U.

Duke Johnson will be headed to the NFL in 1 or 2 years. Dallas Crawford only has 2 years remaining. Gus the Bus will more than likely be a fullback as he's so big. Brandon Powell (incoming freshman) has nowhere near the talent of Yearby and Cook and will likely b a backup. Yearby and Cook would both see playing time as true freshmen and then dominate together for 3 more years. And with the O Line talent the U is recruiting (4 studs this season), running lanes should be available.

If he goes to Florida, he'll have to share the backfield with Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones, both who are very young and very established. If you're going to share a backfield with anyone, you might as well do it at home with your best friend, and with a team that is on the rise (unlike the Gators who are on the downswing).

Actually, he'd have a better opportunity at FSU as they're short on running backs. But FSU is NOT known for developing RB's and putting them in the NFL. You have to go back 20 years to Warrick Dunn. Heck, even Miami's "average" running backs succeed in the NFL. Look at what Lamar Miller and Mike James are doing. Both were mediocre backs at the U, but are starting tailbacks in the NFL.

So that's my recruiting pitch for Dalvin Cook. The U Cane family would love a great kid like you in Coral Gables. I trust that young Mr. Cook will do what's in his heart. But I believe his best opportunities are with the Hurricanes. I'm hoping his heart steers him in that direction as well.

Good luck to the Central Rockets next week. Bring home another State Championship to Miami.

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