"Camp's going really well," said Cook, the Rebels' fifth-year senior fullback. "As a team we've really come together and gotten good work in. We've got a long way to go these next few days before Memphis. But this camp is going very well."
It all began last winter and spring, says Cook, and the Rebels feel they are on the same page as game one nears.
"There's been a lot of good carryover from the spring," said the 5-foot-11, 248-pounder. "Retention as far as plays and the camaraderie out here has been good since the spring."
The running game excites Cook. He's impressed with the way the offense has been progressing.
"So far our running game is incredible," the Suwanee, Ga., native said. "It's come a long way. Guys making the right blocks, making the right assignments. It's been nice to see it all come together."
Cook says he believes he will be involved in the offensive production even more this season and he's excited about that.
"The way I'm being used is pretty much the same way I've always been used the other three years I've played here, paving ways and opening up holes for those running backs," he said. "But I'm also catching some balls and running it a little bit. It's pretty cool to be able to use talents that have been untapped for so long. It's a good feeling."
The personable Cook, a team player if ever there was one, said he does enjoy having his hands on the football when the opportunity presents itself.
"I played a lot of tailback in high school. Caught some passes. The past couple of years I haven't really been used in that way, which is OK," Cook said. "I'm never going to be a glory hog. I'm not going to fight for balls. But it's nice to get some come your way every once in a while."
Cook likes the new guys in the backfield. He says the future is bright there, including the immediate future.
"These young guys are explosive. They're different from any other backs I've seen, young-wise. They've been here all summer, and they've been learning their stuff all summer. They've come in and they've already got a leg up where a lot of freshmen wouldn't have.
"So far, Cordera (Eason) has outshined all backs. Brandon Bolden is going to be a guy to watch. It's a very talented group of guys, and it's going to be interesting to see how it goes."
More Cook evaluations of the new backs.
"Enrique (Davis) is probably the most powerful of those three. He's a hard runner. Not a whole lot of wiggle, but he can give you something in a space. Devin (Thomas) doesn't look like it, but Devin's a downhill guy. He's going to stay low. He's going to run downhill. He's going to run hard. Brandon is a speedster, probably the fastest of the three. He's a smart guy so he's picking up on everything. All three of them are different kinds of backs, but they're all really good backs."
Cook remains impressed with Eason.
"He's doing the same things he's done since he's been here. He's being consistent. He's run the ball well. He's learned his playbook. He's done everything he needs to do to stave off those (younger) guys. He's finally going to get a chance to show what he's made of."
Offensively Cook likes the approach of the staff.
"We're balanced. I don't think our comfort lies in one or the other (running or passing). Our comfort's going to lie in how well we execute on gameday. Right now we're executing pretty well. In year's past it's always been the running game. This year the passing game has been great and our running game, too."
Cook knows his time as a Rebel player is coming to a close. He wants this season to be one to remember, for him and for the team and program.
"A couple of years ago I would have been so anxious, I would have probably looked ahead," he said of the upcoming game against Memphis. "But now it's about every day and just getting better. That means thinking about practice and improving out here each day. As a senior, every day is a last one for me. I've tried to take advantage of every day."
Jason Cook -
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