Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, a 5-star prospect who enrolled just 10 days after committing to the Seminoles so he could get an early jump on his college career, will miss the rest of spring practice after injuring his shoulder, which required surgery, on a staircase in the team's weight room.
"Dalvin will be out for the spring," said FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher, according to Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel. "He actually stumbled on a step and had it repaired, so he’ll be good."
While an obvious step back in Cook's development and letdown for eager-to-watch fans of the team, that the shoulder is expected to be "good" means a bullet might have been dodged. It sounds like he'll be ready to play in the fall, despite this freak occurrence.
Cook was expected to compete in camp for the No. 2 role behind Karlos Williams, who returns after rushing for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 91 carries last season. Leading rusher Devonta Freeman and third-leading rusher James Wilder Jr. are gone from last year's team, however, leaving a sizable hole in Jimbo Fisher's offense.
According to David Hale of ESPN.com, Florida State's leading rusher has accounted for just 27.5 percent of the team's total carries since Fisher arrived in 2010, which makes Cook an important player right out of high school:
Without Cook around to compete in spring camp, even more reps will go to Mario Pender and Ryan Green, who can carve out an edge on the freshman before fall practice. Green rushed 33 times for 163 yards last season while Pender, a former blue-chip recruit, took a redshirt in 2012 and was ruled academically ineligible in 2013.
According to Sonnone, Fisher said Cook was having "a tremendous offseason" and that "he'd acted like he'd been here for three years" before the injury. Though he'll get to attend meetings—which should help keep him up to speed on the offense—throughout the spring, nothing can simulate getting real, tangible reps out on the field.
Cook was the No. 13 overall prospect, No. 2 running back and top-ranked player from Florida this cycle, per the 247Sports composite.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT