Four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL), the Florida Gators’ highest-rated 2014 commitment, has been wavering in his pledge over the last few weeks and is no longer a certainty to remain a member of the class.
In fact, nothing about Cook’s recruitment is a certainty these days. Depending when, how or by whom he is asked, Cook provides varying answers about his commitment status and which team is currently in the lead for his services.
The only thing known at this time is that Cook remains committed to Florida but has nevertheless signed financial aid agreements with three schools. According to Rivals.com ($), he had already inked agreements with Florida State and Miami and was waiting on papers from Florida. InsidetheGators.com’s Blake Alderman reported Thursday that Cook has since received and signed the same forms from UF.
Why the Gators were not proactive in getting Cook’s signature on these documents is curious, especially considering he has been committed for eight months and actually flipped his status at that time as well.
These so-called “grant-in-aid agreements” are around for the first time this recruiting cycle after being instituted by the NCAA in October. By signing one of these agreements, a recruit is guaranteed a scholarship at that institution and can have unlimited contact with the school’s coaches. Representatives of the university can also mention the prospect by name publicly, which is otherwise prohibited under NCAA rules.
Cook can sign more than one of these agreements because doing so does not guarantee his services to a specific school. Whether he even knows where he will eventually attend remains a mystery at this time.
Recently he has called himself both 100 percent and 80 percent committed to Florida. He has also mentioned Florida State as his leader and said that he feels a very tight bond with the coaches and players at Miami.
The Gators’ lackluster play this season – especially on the offensive side of the ball – has given Cook plenty of reason for pause. Florida will also be hiring a new offensive coordinator, which is certainly a factor as well.
Many of his fellow UF commitments, specifically four-star cornerback Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and four-star wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL), believe Cook will wind up attending Florida when all is said and done. As an early enrollee, he does not have much time to make up his mind.
Cook has chosen to announce his final decision on Dec. 14, which is understandably a concern for the Gators. Florida may not even hire a new offensive coordinator until after the bowl games. Then again, perhaps the entire back-and-forth over the last few weeks has occurred to create drama and attention prior to the ceremony.