Interest Cooking for Va. DB

After transferring to Fork Union, Malcolm Cook has started to turn some heads. One of his new teammates has helped to generate the interest.

Malcolm Cook never intended on camping at Penn State this summer. Not until he transferred to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, anyway.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound defensive back was relaxing in his home in Richmond, Va., when a new teammate at Fork Union -- quarterback Christian Hackenberg -- called him with an intriguing offer.

“Christian called one day about two weeks before Penn State's camp and said he was talking to the coaches about me and they wanted to see me workout, so he offered to take me up there with him and his dad,” Cook said. “I couldn't believe it.”

He accepted the offer, of course, and stayed the night at the Hackenberg home before heading to University Park the next day.

“Christian and I just kicked it all day,” Cook said. “We played basketball and threw the ball around a little bit. We were just being kids, and it was great. He and his family are great people.

“I knew once Christian and his dad picked me up I was going to like them, and once I met his mother -- who's a great person too -- I knew I was going to have a good time,” he added.

Cook says he had a good time the next day at camp, as well, and impressed the Nittany Lion staff.

“I thought I had a great day,” he said. “The secondary coach (John Butler) said he really liked the way I play, and that I just needed to do a little to my footwork and it would make me that much faster.

“They told me to keep in contact with them, and Coach (Charles) London said he hopes to see me soon,” Cook added.

Moving On

Last season, Cook was a standout athlete at Armstrong High in Richmond. But he but made the switch to Fork Union due for academic reasons.

“They never gave me a foreign language, and you need that to be eligible for the NCAA, and I can have it done at Fork Union by November,” Cook said. “I want to succeed so bad that I knew Fork Union would be best for me academically, so I decided to go there for my senior season,.”

Cook made the decision recently, but said if he would have waited longer, he might have ended up somewhere else.

“I love Fork Union -- the football, the school -- it's great,” Cook said. “But I ran into Derrick Green at the grocery store one day, and he said I should come up to his school, but I told him I'm already at Fork Union.”

Green, of course, attends Hermitage High in Virginia.

“It feels like a breath of fresh air at Fork Union; I'm excited,” Cook said.

Looking Ahead

Cook plans on visiting Virginia this summer after previous trips to Old Dominion, Virginia Tech and Penn State. After that, Cook can do nothing more but finish his academic requirements and wait to see if any schools extend an offer. But two do stand out to him.

“Virginia is in my backyard, and I've been to a lot of games there,” Cook said. “But I love Penn State. I've been watching games of theirs on TV for years, and I love the atmosphere and people there.”

Hackenberg and Cook plan to visit Happy Valley for a game this fall. They also see the Lions in action in one road game.

“Christian and I were talking, and we are absolutely going to the Virginia game when they play Penn State down here, and I'm excited for that,” Cook said. “I just have to get everything right in the classroom and let things shake out as they will.”

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