In a bit of Sunshine State drama, former University of Florida recruit Dalvin Cook flipped his verbal commitment to Florida State and Jimbo Fisher on Tuesday night.
FOX Sports' Amy Campbell has the news:
Cook, a Miami native, originally gave his word to the Clemson Tigers in June of 2012, according to 247 Sports. He switched to Florida on April 6, 2013, but just days before enrolling in classes, he changed his mind again and committed to in-state rival Florida State.
"I felt at heart that it was the school for me and I can get everything I wanna get done there," Cook said about his FSU pledge, via Campbell.
Each team's 2013 campaign likely had a little something to do with the flip as well. Florida entered the season No. 10 but struggled to its worst season (4-8, no bowl game) in recent memory, while No. 1 Florida State will face Auburn in Pasadena for the national championship in a week.
According to 247Sports' composite rankings, the 5-star Cook is the 12th-best recruit, No. 2 running back and No. 1 player out of the state of Florida in the 2014 class.
At 5'11" and 190 pounds, he has an impressive blend of speed, elusiveness, vision and game-changing, home-run-hitting ability. En route to being named to the All-USA team by USA TODAY Sports, he ran for 1,940 yards and 34 touchdowns, including 223 and four scores in the state 6A title game.
Simply put, it's not surprising to hear Fisher call him "one of the special guys," via The Osceola's Tim Linafelt:
Jimbo Fisher on Dalvin Cook: “We're blessed. I think he's one of the special guys. I really do."— Tim Linafelt (@Osceola_Tim) January 1, 2014
Fisher on Cook: Some guys move the chains, other guys change #s on the scoreboard. I think he's a guy that changes numbers on the scoreboard— Tim Linafelt (@Osceola_Tim) January 1, 2014
ESPN's Derek Tyson echoed that sentiment, noting the big loss for the Gators:
Of course, having All-Freshman SEC running back Kelvin Taylor helps cushion the blow, but this is a development that highlights the current state of these two rival programs. And as Cook noted, via Tomahawk Nation's Twitter feed, he hopes to continue to pilfer from Florida:
Dalvin Cook says he will go at 5-star WR Ermon Lane @_MoneyLane (UF commit) strong and that they should play together.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) January 1, 2014
As if the rivalry needed any more fuel. In case you're wondering, these two teams meet on Nov. 29, 2014.