There's plenty of 2015 talent in New Jersey, but one of the better prospects who hasn't received too much attention yet is Lakewood (N.J.) running back Chappelle Cook, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound power-speed combo. Cook does claim one early verbal from Temple, but while other Division I programs are looking at him, he hasn't procured any major offers yet.
"One thing is a lot of these schools want me to come visit and meet me in person. I have been invite to so many junior days, but I haven't been able to make it," Cook said. "It's been hard this offseason with my family situation. Me and my mom, we've been trying to get settled here, and it's not easy to travel to some of these schools that want to see me.
"I was invited to junior days at Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Boston College, Temple and Rutgers, and I already missed the PSU and Pitt ones. I wanted to get to Maryland, BC, Temple and Rutgers, but I wasn't able to for [UMD and BC]. Rutgers is coming up, and that's right up the road, so I'm able to make that one, and the week after I have Temple -- but the other two I couldn't do. Hopefully I can get in contact with all the coaches [from Pitt, PSU, Maryland and BC] and set up another day when I can visit."
All of the aforementioned programs are at least monitoring Cook at this time. He said he's had personal contact with PSU, Pitt, UMD, Rutgers, Temple and Cincinnati, while his head coach has talked to staff members from Virginia and Georgia Tech about him. In addition, Cook has received plenty of letters from the likes of East Carolina, N.C. State, Indiana, Miami, Nebraska, Duke, Michigan State, Missouri, Vanderbilt and others.
"The interest is there, and the stack of letters I have is phenomenal, so I'm just waiting for the offers to come," Cook said. "I do expect to get two or three more before my senior season starts."
Of course, Cook does have that Temple offer available to him. He said as far as he knows the verbal is legitimate and the staff wants him in the program.
"Their coaches stay in contact a lot. They show me a lot of love; it feels good to be appreciated," Cook said. "They tell me good luck, they've wished me happy holidays, and they just want to build a relationship. They said they want to see me in action this year and would like me to come visit at some point."
Cook said he had actually developed a rapport with former Maryland coach Lee Hull, who is now the head man at Morgan State. He said he has yet to speak to his new Terps area recruiter, Keenan McCardell, but his coach told him UMD is still involved.
"Coach Hull came up to my school, checked me out and we were staying in touch," Cook said. "He told me he was going to come to one of my games and to keep my grades up. But I know he's not at Maryland anymore, so I'm just waiting to hear from the new recruiter there. My coach, though, he told me he talks to Maryland and they're still looking at me. He said they want to look at my transcripts and get back in contact."
The Jersey back did actually make it down to College Park, Md., back during the fall for the UMD-ODU game. It was the only game he was able to attend all last year.
"I really liked the atmosphere, and Maryland came out wit the ‘W,'" Cook said. "I liked the people there, I liked being around the campus, and I liked the area. Also, it's close to Virginia, which is where I'm originally from, so it's good that Maryland would be close to that.
"And just knowing Coach Hull, that gives me an idea how the other coaches are at Maryland, so I'm looking forward to getting in touch with the new recruiter there."
Last fall, Cook, who missed 2.5 games with a bad ankle sprain, rushed for 987 yards and 11 touchdowns, while recording 280 receiving yards and two more scores. He said he also split carries with a talented sophomore back, which limited the yardage totals.
"I can do a lot of different things for you," said Cook, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. "I have breakaway speed, but I can get downhill and play power football too. I can make people miss, but I can also run them over. I can catch the ball, make plays after the catch and even throw it if I'm asked."
Jersey Back Starting to 'Cook'
TerrapinTimes Top Stories
Watch: DeAndre Lane emerging as senior leaderThe Maryland native already has one more catch than he did all of last season.
Watch: TE Park will be big target for TerpsAndrew Park, the nation's 36th-ranked tight end, shows why he is one of the region's best in his early senior highlights.
Scout Football8:06 AM
Watch: Andy Buh Press ConferenceIt's Homecoming for the Terrapins, and Maryland has a chance to go 4-0.
Hardwood Notes: Complete Recruiting RundownThe latest in Maryland basketball recruiting.
TerrapinTimesYesterday at 11:40 PM