Commitment Spotlight: Colby Cooke
"I thought six wins [this season] was incredible," said Colby Cooke, "especially considering last year they only had two. They really should have had nine wins. They missed on several close ones, but that will change. It's a team that's get looked at differently from now on."
Cooke's many senior season accolades included First Team All-District (James River), First Team All-Region (Greater Richmond), First Team All-Metro (Richmond), and First Team All-State (Virginia Group A Division 2).
"I'm competing in the International Bowl on signing day [February 1st]," Cooke said. "I'm going to sign my letter of intent on television while I'm there. They had tryouts in Georgia, and I was selected."
The International Bowl, held in Austin, Texas, features Team USA against Team World. Fellow Vanderbilt commitment, Corey Batey, will also play in the event. Cooke will get to know more of the Vanderbilt class when he goes for his official visit on January 20th.
"All of the prior commits are going to be there that weekend," said Cooke. "I've met a few of them already at the Kentucky and Ole Miss games. I just got back from the Liberty Bowl to see them play Cincinnati."
Cooke had 17 field goals and 63 extra points this season. The state final against Gretna, he boomed a 51-yard field goal to keep his Bulldogs in the game. On kickoffs, Cook had 32 touchbacks on 41 attempts. He's ready to get his career as a Commodore underway, but it may not begin until next January.
"Coach Franklin was up front with me when we sat down to talk," said Cooke. "He told me how it can't get any better than playing in the SEC and getting the quality of education I'd receive at Vanderbilt. I agreed and committed instantly.
"I accepted a grayshirt offer. I have the option of taking some community college classes here in Virginia or in Nashville. Things may still fall in place where they would have a scholarship available for me in the fall. It all depends on the numbers. If it doesn't happen I'll be ready to report next January."
With starting placekicker, Ryan Fowler, having one more year of eligibility it may make sense to bring Cooke in later. In the meantime, Cooke is staying in close contact with Charles Bankins, his recruiter and special teams coordinator and working vigorously on his kicking game.
Cooke, 6-foot-4, 195-pounds was selected Second Team All-American by Sports Illustrated. The Goochland Bulldogs fell in the state finals to Gretna 21-16 in a game played at Salem City Stadium to finish 14-1. Cooke, a three year starter, wore No. 16.
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