‘Electric’ James Cook could spark Georgia offense in SEC title game
ATHENS — The Georgia offense could use a jolt of electricity right about now, and Coach Kirby Smart knows where to find it.
Sophomore tailback James Cook provides an explosive option for coordinator James Coley to make use of at 4 p.m. next Saturday in the SEC Championship Game against LSU.
“He’s electric, he’s a little different than what we have so we want to find ways to get him the ball,” Smart said at the start of fall drills in a DawgNation story.
Four months later, Smart is saying the same things, and Georgia is still trying to figure out the best ways to use him.
“James Cook is a warrior, he works his butt off, doesn’t cry, doesn’t whine, doesn’t talk about not getting the ball,” Smart said last Saturday. “He just plays on special teams and when you get him the ball he usually does good things with it. We’ve got to keep trying to find ways to use James.”
Cook, who had 4 carries for 30 yards in the 52-7 win over Georgia Tech along with 2 catches for 34 yards, was made available to the media for the first time this season after the game.
“It hasn’t been frustrating,” Cook told UGASports.com. “There are older guys that I can look up to and learn from. I have to wait my turn, and it’s going to be good.”
“It’s been a good experience. I’ve just got to keep working and keep working. I know I’m going to get my chance.”
There might only be so many carries to go around with junior D’Andre Swift and senior Brian Herrien carrying the backfield, but Jake Fromm could use another explosive target.
Lawrence Cager is out after ankle surgery and freshman George Pickens is suspended after a third-quarter fight at Georgia Tech.
Cook, with his speed and cutting ability, could do damage in the open field on short passes should Fromm look his direction.
Several Georgia defensive players have commented on Cook, unprompted, over the past year.
Most recently, captain Monty Rice dropped Cook’s name when asked about Swift.
“There’s not too many running backs that can maneuver like (Swift) and Brian or Cook,” Rice said. “Especially James — James is fast.”
The Bulldogs haven’t done much in the yards-after-the-catch department this season, and Cook has the potential to be a game changer.
Defensive lineman Julian Rochester said as much last season.
“It just changes the game, it changes the pace,” Rochester said. “I think when you look at him, he looks a lot faster than all those boys and moves a lot quicker, and it’s a different type of style that we haven’t seen yet.”
LSU hasn’t seen it either, but there’s an outside chance it could, depending on the game plan, and depending on where Fromm goes with the football.
Georgia football DawgNation