Because Arkansas has done a great job recruiting him, Miami, Fla., Central tailback Dalvin Cook wanted to at least take an official visit to check out the Razorback program.
But the Florida commit admits that he was surprised by what he found in Fayetteville and it has given Cook (5-11, 195, 4.38) something to think about in terms of his college choice.
"Man, it was much nicer than I thought it was going to be and it was just a great game day atmosphere," Cook said. "I loved everything about it. Arkansas is definitely up there right at the top for me now."
He was one of five 4-star prospects that took official visits to Arkansas this weekend along with offensive linemen Frank Ragnow and Jaden Gault – a Wisconsin commit – as well as safety Steven Parker and TCU linebacker commit Jimmie Swain.
Cook, who has rushed for over 1,087 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 12.3 yards per carry as a senior, is ranked as the sixth-best high school tailback in the country per Scout.com.
Growing up a Miami fan, Cook noted how impressed he is with former Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon - now the linebackers coach at Arkansas - as well as Razorback running backs coach Joel Thomas.
"The coaching staff is just great and I really loved being around Coach Shannon and Coach Thomas and also around the players," Cook said. "They have a great campus and I really enjoyed everything about the campus tour. I also thought their tailgating atmosphere was great. And the Hog Walk. They really know how to do it."
But the highlight of Cook's visit may have been his stop at the Catfish Hole restaurant, where he encountered a wave of Razorback fans.
"I think that was probably the best part of the trip," Cook said. "It was great. They all knew my name and all talked about how they want me to come help build this program. They love their team and there is just great support in Arkansas. Those are the kind of people you want to play for in college."
That's even though the Razorbacks lost their sixth straight game – this one 35-17 to No. 8 Auburn.
"I know it is tough right now, but they have great coaches and I know they are going to rebuild this program by getting some great players to Arkansas," Cook said. "They made it clear they want me to be one of those."
Cook has also visited Florida State and plans to take two more before finalizing his decision.
"I don't know where I am going to go on the other two visits, but I do plan to take them before shutting everything down," Cook said. "This one to Arkansas certainly has given me a lot to think about."
Miami Central (7-1) has won six straight games and is the No. 1 seed heading into the Class 6A state playoffs – something the Rockets have won two out of the last three years.
Cook and Miami running back commit Joseph Yearby power an offense that has five Division I prospects blocking for it upfront.
"We're playing our best at just the right time," Cook said. "That's the goal – to win it all."
Cook Leaves Arkansas Impressed
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