COFFEYVILLE, Kan. - Because of a lot of double-teaming, Blinn Junior College defensive end and Florida native Alex Cook left Red Ravens Stadium Saturday night credited with just one tackle.
But Cook (6-4, 215), who is being recruited by Arkansas, still caused havoc with his pass rushing skills and most importantly No. 10 nationally-ranked Buccaneers also left Coffeyville with a 16-7 win over the Red Ravens.
"We came out here and really played well as a team and got the win, which always makes the long ride home better," Cook said. "I didn't get many tackles tonight, but we all got it done. We were fresh the whole time,. Our back-ups are really good, too, so our coach was able to get putting us in and taking us out for rest."
The coach he speaks of is Blinn head coach Brad Franchione, the son of Texas A&M head coach Dennis Franchione.
"I didn't have the grades so I knew I was going to have to go juco, just didn't know which one," Cook said. "Coach (Brad) Fran called me at the last minute so that was the first time getting out of Florida for me."
Cook played his high school football for Osceola High in St. Petersburg and had a big-time senior season where he forced eight fumbles, had 18 tackles for loss and 14 sacks his senior season while being named to the first-team All Pinellas County squad by the St. Petersburg Times and all-state.
"We were 7-3, but didn't get to go to the playoffs," Cook said. "I had something like 17 sacks that season. I had a pretty good year. I was getting recruited by like 16 D-1 schools, but since I knew I wasn't going to make my grades I didn't really think too much about them."
Arkansas, Oklahoma State, UTEP, Hawaii and Florida - who just recently called about him - are the schools that Cook is focusing on right now.
He is being recruited for the Razorbacks by Alex Wood, the former NFL offensive coordinator who is now the UA quarterback coach.
"They found me and I am thinking that is about the best deal for me right now," Cook said. "It's really too early to tell. I talk on the phone with Coach Wood a lot. I call Arkansas a lot because I am interested."
He knows that he needs to compliment his pass rushing skills with better performances against the run.
"I am definitely working on fighting the run," Cook said. "I am almost there, but I have got to keep hitting that weight room. The pass rush has always been there for me. Coach (Denauld) Brown has helped me out with that here."
Arkansas is also known to have some interest in Blinn's mammoth offensive tackle Jason Johnson (6-6, 370), free safety Alfonso Jackson (5-9, 182) and wideouts Carl Johnson (6-0, 214) and Phillip Beck (5-8, 175).
"We have got a lot of talent on this football team and we are going to be very good," Cook said. "This was a good start."
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