Running back transfers to UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Rikki Cook, a 6-1, 235-pound running back who played last year at Rutgers, will transfer to North Carolina, Head Coach John Bunting announced today.

"I'm excited that Rikki has decided to become a Tar Heel," said Bunting. "He was one of the top running backs in the country coming out of high school and he had a prior relationship with running backs coach Andre' Powell. Rikki is an athletic and physical player who comes from a great family and has a tremendous amount of potential. We think he can develop into an excellent player at Carolina."

Cook played in three games last season before suffering a foot injury. He carried 19 times for 46 yards and caught one pass for five yards. A native of Montclair, N.J., Cook will have to sit out the 2002 season as a transfer.

Regarded by most recruiting analysts as the top offensive player in the state of New Jersey in 2000, Cook rushed for 2,152 yards on 230 carries and scored 28 touchdowns as a senior. He was a consensus first-team All-State selection, was the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year and was the New Jersey MVP in the annual Governor's Bowl, an all-star game between New Jersey and New York high school standouts.

He led Montclair High School to a 9-3 record and the North Jersey Section 2 Group IV championship game in his senior campaign. He scored eight touchdowns on runs of at least 40 yards or more and five on runs of at least 63 yards. As a junior, Cook rushed for over 1,000 yards as a fullback. He also competed in track as a sprinter for Montclair.

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