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Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Florida State RB commit James Cook does have his eye on Georgia.

UGA recruiting: FSU commit James Cook weighs in on a potential flip

Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way a 4-star like James Cook might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.


BEAVERTON, Ore. — James Cook is a Florida State legacy. His older brother is Dalvin Cook.

He thought he would always follow the path his sibling set for him in college football. But Georgia is threatening to change that.

The nation’s No. 3 running back prospect and No. 33 player overall (247Sports composite) said his decision would be over and done if not for the specific layers of opportunity the Bulldogs offer.

What’s the biggest reason why the Florida State commit is still considering UGA?

James Cook-UGA recruiting
James Cook said his decision is down to just two schools: Florida State and Georgia. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“The thought that I will play as a freshman,” Cook said.

Cook knows that UGA got a big commitment from 5-star RB Zamir White last week. That hasn’t swayed him. He saw that coming. He used the term “Thunder and Lightning” to describe how he felt their skills would mesh together in the same college backfield.

If Georgia can pull the flip, it would mean the program signs the nation’s No. 1 and the No. 3 RBs in the same cycle. Both also would enroll early. Cook is also aware of all the young talent the Bulldogs have on the offensive line right now and in the future.

Georgia and its running backs coach Dell McGee have made Cook a priority for quite a long time. He also likes the fit and everything the Bulldogs are doing in upgrading their facilities.

“It is very nice,” Cook said. “Athens is very nice and a very cool place to be.”

He said that current UGA RB Nick Chubb has spoken to him about the fit in Athens.

“He’s just told me that it is a great program and that Georgia shows love,” he said.

Both programs would have elite RB rooms. FSU did just sign the nation’s No. 2 RB in Cam Akers last cycle. Georgia signed the nation’s No. 4 RB in D’Andre Swift.

How hard is Georgia recruiting James Cook right now?

He’s committed to FSU. But how does the attention he’s getting from the Bulldogs right now compare to what he’s hearing from the Seminoles?

“It is equal,” Cook said.

He’s not sure when he will make a final decision. He knows the Bulldogs will get one of his two official visits.

“I’m not accurate with my decision yet,” he said. “I’m not sure yet. I am going to make my decision at the end of the season.”

James Cook-UGA recruiting
Major UGA target (and Florida State commit) James Cook works out in the “Cat-and-Mouse” Challenge in a special Saturday night event at The Opening finals. (Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10)

A flip to UGA would mean those chairs in the RB room left behind by Chubb and Sony Michel would not be empty for long. White would be the every-down, between-the-tackles stallion and fit into Chubb’s role.

Cook, who has worked against receivers in 1-on-1s this week, would be more like Michel.

“Yeah, I like that but I am James now,” Cook said. “I am going to do me.”

Cook is having fun at The Opening.

“It is a great experience to be out here at Nike and to get all this gear,” he said.

Dell McGee isn’t the only asset that the Bulldogs are using to pull off this flip. Receivers coach James Coley is also hard at work here.

“Good coach,” Cook said. “I mean he had a great reputation at Miami. [He is] a good person.”

The 5-foot-11.5, 181-pound prospect was not planning to take any more unofficial visits this summer.

georgia football-georgia podcast-james cook
James Cook would be the ideal UGA pairing with 5-star RB Zamir White for the Class of 2018. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

He said his favorite part of The Opening has been the route running. It has been common to see him torch elite cornerbacks this week in 1-on-1 reps.

“What separates me is my route running,” Cook said.

The Miami Central standout said he hears from the Bulldogs every day. He aims to wear No. 4 in college, the number his brother wore in Tallahassee.

“This [decision] isn’t solid yet until I make my decision,” Cook said.

An interesting thought from 5-star CB Anthony Cook

Anthony Cook, the nation’s No. 2 cornerback, shared an interesting thought regarding his recruiting on Sunday afternoon.

Cook had the Bulldogs in his top 10. They’d be in his top 5 if not for one very specific reason: Lack of communication.

“I liked Georgia,” Cook said. “They would probably have cracked my top 5. I did like Georgia a lot.”

The nation’s No. 8 overall prospect said he stopped hearing from the Bulldogs. He estimated that the communication between him and the staff dropped off in March.

That likely means that the Bulldogs didn’t feel they could win a fight that includes a local program like Texas and heavy national hitters like Clemson and Ohio State, among others.

It also very likely means the program felt its time and energy would be better spent in recruiting more likely targets.

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