Breaking down James Cook’s decommitment

The Seminoles lost their top running back in the 2018 class on July 4 when James Cook decided to reopen his recruitment. The 5* tailback and brother of Dalvin Cook said in a letter posted to Twitter that it was nothing personal just business.

Georgia has been trending upward for Cook since early in the spring. He has visited their campus and is beginning to form a bond with the Bulldogs coaching staff. There is a still a chance Cook recommits to Florida State, but at this point, that possibility seems to be wavering. Reportedly, Jimbo Fisher and his staff will not be recruiting another running back in the 2018 class. The `Noles also have 4* athlete Jashaun Corbin in the fold after garnering his commitment on May 22.

So how bad does this hurt FSU? It definitely stings. Obviously, you don’t expect to lose the brother of the greatest running back in school history just months after he was drafted but Cook has been trending this way all spring. He’s also an elite talent that will be successful no matter where he decides to go. Thankfully, the Seminoles signed possibly the best running back class in school history in 2017.

The additions of talented freshmen tailbacks Cam Akers, Khalan Laborn, and ZaQuandre White might have had an impact on Cook’s decision. It’s very likely that Cook would be in a heck of a competition to earn carries as a freshman and sophomore with so much skill in the backfield. His new favorite, Georgia, also just landed 5* running back Zamir White. Cook is going to have some tough decisions to make before the newly instituted early signing period opens on December 20 and will last through December 22.

Despite the loss of one of the most talented members of the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Seminoles class isn’t slipping into a downward spiral. FSU landed a commitment from 3* wide receiver Antoine Green on July 4. Green is an under the radar player who displayed the ability to run smooth routes at the Jimbo Fisher Camp in June. He also has legit 4.4 speed. 3* WR D’Marcus Adams committed to FSU on June 16 after attending Fisher’s camp. He reportedly ran a 4.37 twice in front of the coaches, which certainly helped him gain the offer. Adams and Green are two recruits who could blow up during their senior seasons and become four-stars by the end of the cycle.

Fisher and his staff recently landed one of the best offensive line recruits in the country on June 25 in Christian Armstrong. Armstrong is a four-star recruit out of Georgia who the `Noles were able to land under Georgia’s nose. Florida State is looking to land four OL in this class. They also have 3* OL Christian Meadows currently committed.

FSU is still feeling very positive about where they stand with 5* QB Justin Fields. Fields visited Tallahassee in June and was the top performing quarterback at The Opening. He’s reportedly planning to be back on campus sometime this summer. The `Noles are still in a tight race with Georgia, Florida, and Auburn for Fields’s services. They also could be a darkhorse candidate for 5* QB Matt Corral. Corral recently decommitted USC but has already been linked to Florida and Georgia. He engaged in a friendly Twitter conversation with 4* FSU linebacker commit Amari Gainer where he teased about visiting Tallahassee. Fields is still the top quarterback on Fisher’s board but he could decide to go after Corral based on how he feels about the recruitment.

4* Texas wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tommy Bush are two other players who could become Seminoles. Waddle is visiting with his family later in July and he could decide to pull the trigger. Bush loved his visit to campus in June but was recently offered by Texas. He’s been wanting an offer from the Longhorns bad so FSU could be in for a battle.

Defensively, Florida State is in the pursuit for a bevy of elite talent. 4* DT Rick Sandidge and 4* DE Dennis Briggs are both guys that the staff has formed great relationships with and they feel good about their chances. 4* inside linebacker Dax Hollifield is one of the top remaining LB’s on the board. FSU is battling with North Carolina for his commitment but Hollifield has enjoyed his time in Tallahassee. The `Noles are also the favorite for 4* safety Houston Griffith and they are in a tight contest with LSU for 5* CB Patrick Surtain.

As you can see, this class is far from over. Fisher and his staff have put themselves in a great position to land some of the most skilled players in the country down the stretch.

Dustin Lewis
Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Staff Writer for the FSView and contributor for Celtics Hub.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *