Taking stock of Cook decision: How big of a loss is it for the 'Noles?

Michael Langston, Recruiting Analyst

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Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

Florida State fans were understandably frustrated and disappointed when the news came down this week that five-star running back James Cook, the younger brother of former Seminole superstar Dalvin Cook, had backed out of his commitment to FSU.

Not only is the younger Cook extremely talented, but he had been committed to the Seminoles for 16 months. When he first committed, Cook actually was expected to be in the class of 2019, but he reclassified to 2018 so that he could get to FSU sooner.

Now, it appears that may never happen.

While Cook's decommitment might have seemed sudden when he announced it on July 4, there actually had been signs of his wavering for months. After making numerous visits to Tallahassee in 2016, things seemed to keep coming up every time he was supposed to take trips to FSU this year -- for Junior Day in February, during the spring and again for Jimbo Fisher's June camp. He also has been seen wearing Georgia gear.

So, where did things go wrong?

It's hard to know for sure, but there are two prevalent theories. One is that Cook has taken stock of FSU's running back recruiting in recent years and realizes that early playing time might be tough to come by. The other is that the Miami Central product wants to escape the shadow of his older brother.

Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell believes the latter might have been the biggest factor.

"I got the feeling at the Five-Star Challenge that following in his brother's footsteps was what this was about more than any other guy at FSU," Farrell said. "I think the expectations that came with following Dalvin is the big thing.

"With Dalvin being the best running back in the history of FSU and then everything you see is 'brother of Dalvin Cook' ... I just don't see how he could surpass Dalvin's career. And that's something that would always stick at FSU."

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