James Cook excited to play in new Todd Monken offense after impressive offseason
Georgia junior running back James Cook has quite a legacy to uphold in the 2020 season.
For starters, he’s now one of the lead running backs entering the 2020 season, along with Zamir White. He and White are now the veterans in the room and are expected to be a big part of Georgia’s new-look offense in 2020.
Much of the focus on that offense has been predicated on how Todd Monken’s passing offense will look and Cook is excited to be a key part of it. But he reassured everyone Georgia is still going to rely heavily on its running game.
“We are always going to be an RBU team,” Cook said. “We’re going to pound the ball. Nothing is going to change—we are RBU.”
Last season, Cook rushed for 188 yards while also catching 16 passes. But he was very much only a gadget player and now a key part of the Georgia offense.
With D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien now off to the NFL, Cook figures to have a much bigger opportunity in 2020. So far he’s made the most of it, as he’s drawn rave reviews from just about every coach for the way he’s gone about improving this offseason.
He’s added considerable weight while also emerging as a vocal leader on Georgia’s offense, which is in part why he was chosen to speak to reporters this week.
“We definitely have two older guys with Zamir [White] and James Cook who provide a lot of leadership to the room, and they bring a lot of experience,” Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee said. “They are definitely two guys that complement one another. From a standpoint of understanding the offense and learning offense the fastest, they’ve kind of propelled themselves in that regard.”
There’s also been much discussion about Cook’s role as a pass catcher and how he can help in that aspect. With Georgia losing Dominick Blaylock to a season-ending knee injury, there’s a bigger need for Cook’s services as a pass-catcher.
Cook and White figure to be key members of the Georgia offense. And while there is only one football to go between the two running backs, Cook and many others feel the duo will complement each other.
“Zamir is like a brother to me,” Cook said. “We’re just like brothers and we’re just looking to be the best version of ourselves and not like other people. Just continue the legacy of ‘RBU’.”
While White is a metaphorical brother, Cook has an actual brother who is an extremely talented running back in his own right. Cook’s older brother Dalvin was a star for Florida State and currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
In Dalvin’s junior year at Florida State, he ran for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns while also catching 33 passes for 488 yards. James likely won’t reach those numbers given the shortened season but that’s part of the legacy he has to try and uphold.
James and Dalvin are close, and the two did spend part of the lockdown working out together. James has often cited his brother as a motivating factor.
And now with a strong offseason of hard work and preparation behind him, James echoed some of the advice Dalvin gave him as the former tries to craft his own legacy at Georgia.
“The fact that he’s the older brother, he tells me to keep going and keep working hard,” James Cook said. “You can get whatever you want in life. One day if you keep working, you could be like him, I could be like him.”
Georgia running back James Cook discuss new Todd Monken offense
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