Canes Hot On Trail of RB/LB

Emanuel Cook went into his senior season with one major goal -- to win a state championship. With his team currently 5-0, Cook is certainly playing well enough to make it happen.

"I got 600 some yards and 14 touchdowns through five games," Cook said. "I've been playing both ways. We're having a real good season so far. Vero Beach is next. We're both undefeated and the winner gets a leg up (in the district race)."

Emanuel Cook, 5-9 and 205 pounds, is in his third season as a starter at Palm Beach Gardens High. He was moved up after his freshman season and has been making plays ever since. He feels as if playing both ways helps him tremendously.

"A lot of guys just play one way," he said. "I play almost all game long in all the big games on both sides. I get used to seeing what's going on on both sides. As a running back, I see what the linebackers are doing and as a linebacker, I get to see what the running backs are doing. It helps me read things better."

Cook is unsure what position he'll play in college. One thing's for sure -- he just wants to play.

"That's what it's all about," he said. "Just get me on the field. I think I'd be best on defense because I can move around, maybe play safety. Whatever works out though. I'll play either side."

The talented senior, who is also a power lifter and on the track team, has emerged as a major recruiting prospect this season.

"Recruiting's going good right now," he said. "I don't have the dates yet but I'm thinking about taking visits to Ole Miss, Rutgers, South Carolina, and North Carolina State. I'm not sure on the fifth one yet. If one of the Florida schools offer me then I'll visit there. If not, maybe North Carolina, Georgia Tech, or Minnesota."

All of the schools mentioned above have sent Cook an offer. He's still waiting, however, on the Florida schools. Miami's hot on his trail.

"The coach has been coming at me pretty hard," he said. "My coach sent them a tape of our first game against Miami Central. I think they want me now. They haven't offered me yet but they're hot on me and they're recruiting me pretty hard."

Cook denies a single favorite but an offer from the Canes could make things interesting.

"They've got a real good team," he said. "They're kinda young and they have a real good young quarterback. Miami likes me on defense."

The talented linebacker has now played five regular season games and a Kickoff Classic. Among those six opponents, he points to Atlantic's Orlando Franklin as his toughest opponent.

"He's really big and strong," he said. "I don't know about quick but he's huge and really strong. He plays both sides and looked real good on defense."

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