When it comes to winning the 2016 Heisman trophy, we’ve all heard the same few names getting all of the preseason love – Deshaun Watson, Christian McCaffery and Leonard Fournette. Fournette gets so much love that if Beano Cook were alive today (yes, I’m that old), he would predict Fournette to win not two, but four Heismans.
There is one player that many seem to be sleeping on and that is Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.
Look, I know, people are aware of Cook. He isn’t some unknown commodity that is going to come out of nowhere, but when compared to the hype surrounding someone like Fournette or even McCaffery, we hear very little about Cook.
All three of these running backs had gaudy statistics last year. Fournette and McCaffery were each one-man wrecking crews as they were asked to carry their teams each week. Cook was equally capable of carrying the load but played on a team that had more around him. And for that he is penalized in the eye of the viewer.
He is also penalized for not playing in the SEC…as many players are. It is for that same reason Fournette is built up to that Beano Cook size proportion. Fournette plays in the SEC. The SEC, baby!
Cook flat out shined last season when the spotlight was the brightest. FSU lost to Clemson, 23-13, despite a 21-carry, 194-yard, one-touchdown performance from Cook. Yeah, 9.2 yards per carry wasn’t too shabby against the eventual national championship runner-up. And don’t forget that this game was played at Clemson, so that preconceived notion that a team can’t run the ball effectively on the road was laid to waste.
As was the case with Cook, Fournette’s spotlight game was a road game, as LSU lost to eventual national champion Alabama, 30-16. Fournette contributed 19 carries for 31 yards and a touchdown. Well, on second thought, maybe a team can’t run the ball on the road?
Look, I love Fournette. I believe he is a phenomenal talent who is one of the best running backs in college football, but you all need to slow down with your Fournette for Heisman, Fournette for President and Fournette for Supreme Leader of the Universe campaigns.
Cook is poised to go on an absolute tear this season. I expect him to shred defenses as Florida State barrels towards the national championship.
There is a showcase game for him on Monday, September 5 as the Seminoles open the season against Ole Miss. And they get Clemson at Doak Walker this year.
Oh, yeah, and that Ole Miss game just became even bigger for Cook now that Sean Maguire, FSU’s starting quarterback, is injured. I don’t wish an injury on any player, but this will be a golden opportunity for Cook to show the country just what he’s made of.
On Monday Night Football, Dalvin Cook will be asked to carry an additional load and it’s a game against the big, bad SEC. I guess there’s only one thing for Cook to do. Dominate.