Decision looms on the horizon for Cooke

After a successful 2007 season for Joliet, DT Kris Cooke (6-2, 300) was expecting to stay for another season with the Wolves, but with a coaching change he has some decisions to make. He could head back to the school he originally signed with out of high school, he could stay at Joliet or he could follow his former head coach to Arizona Western. He updated on where things stand...

"Things are kinda on hold right now while I make a decision," Cooke told recently. "I do have the option of going back to Northern Illinois this August and if I did that I would have four years to play three.

"I could also follow coach (Tom) Minnick to Arizona Western and that would be cool because that would put me in front of some west coast teams and help me get recruited by more schools.

"Or I could stay here at Joliet and finish things out with the guys I came to play with and had fun with last year. Honestly, I'm not really sure which way I'm leaning at this point."

After a standout prep career at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Illinois, Cooke signed with Northern Illinois, but he struggled in the classroom.

"I had some family and personal issues that were really affecting me in my schoolwork," Cooke admitted. "I just needed to leave and take care of some things, so I just got things in order and now I'm doing just fine in that."

As a freshman for Joliet, Cooke amassed 30 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks while playing mostly nose tackle for the Wolves.

"I played mainly nose tackle, but I can play a regular defensive tackle position too," Cooke noted. "I can play a one or three tech and get penetration, but my job is to win and to do that, my job is to occupy blockers and take up linemen so our speedy linebackers can make plays.

"I'm kinda a lunchpail guy. I can get my sacks and stuff, but I don't mind doing the dirty work so other guys can make the plays. As long as we win, that's all I care about."

This summer Cooke has been focusing on his speed training as well as his agility.

"I'm running a lot right now," Cooke said. "I'm down 25 pounds from last year, so I'm a lot faster and I'm trying to become more agile while maintaining my strength as well."

On the recruiting front, Cooke said this time around he's got quite a few schools looking his way.

"Well, I already have Northern Illinois who said they would like me to come back," Cooke said. "Then I have talked to Wisconsin, Ball State, Louisville, Illinois, Purdue and Michigan State, so it's mainly MAC and Big 10 schools.

"That's why Arizona Western is so appealing, because I could get some looks from some west coast schools that might not look at me if I stay out here."

Cooke said he hopes to make a decision within the next couple of weeks on where he will end up playing this fall, so we will continue to keep tabs on him.

Should he stay in the JC ranks this season, he would be able to sign in December with three years to play two wherever he ends up.

Kris Cooke Scout Profile

JC Football Top Stories