• 88°

Dalvin Cook knows he’s big key to Florida State’s year

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Dalvin Cook was one of the college football’s most explosive players last season. But as the Florida State running back prepares for the upcoming season, he wants to be just as potent without the ball.

“The game plan is going to come in, they are going to want to stop Dalvin,” Cook said. “I can still influence the defense and draw more 1-on-1 coverages if I have the ball or not. I have to be more fluid and move around more.”

When the fourth-ranked Seminoles face No. 11 Ole Miss in the Sept. 5 opener in Orlando, all eyes will be on the 5-foot-11, 213-pound junior, who has garnered some Heisman talk. Last season Cook set FSU single-season records for rushing (1,691) and all-purpose yards (1,935).

There are three other stats though which stand out about Cook. His 7.9 yards per carry and his 22 carries of 20-yards or more led Power Five conference running backs. The carries were a bigger eye opener.

Cook’s 229 carries were the second-most by a running back in a Jimbo Fisher offense (LSU’s LaBrandon Toefield had 230 in 2001) and marked the first time since Greg Allen in 1983 that a Florida State back had 200 carries or more in a season.

‘Baby Sweetness’
“He’s baby sweetness. Not comparing him to Walter Payton. He has that juice back there in the backfield,” fullback Freddie Stevenson said. “He has crazy vision. He might see some things that everybody else might not see. You just know with him behind you, get on your man and he’ll do the rest.”

While some may be amazed that Cook had three touchdown runs of 74 yards or more last season, it is what he did in the first 10 yards that made those big plays. On his 94-yard touchdown against Wake Forest, Cook broke two tackles with a cut at the FSU 13 before being gone.