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James Cook Ready to Follow in Brother Dalvin's NFL Footsteps

Georgia RB James Cook
Georgia RB James Cook

INDIANAPOLIS — James Cook is in a familiar place.

It was less than two months ago that Cook was in Indianapolis to help the Georgia Bulldogs capture a College Football Playoff National Championship with a win over rival Alabama.

Now Cook is back in town for the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, where he's looking to make an impression on all 32 teams.

What if the Vikings were to call his name later this spring?

"That'd be a plus, but they already have a guy," Cook said.

Yes, Minnesota has a three-time Pro Bowler in the same spot, and it's a person Cook knows well.

That would be his brother Dalvin.

The odds are the Cook brothers end up on opposite teams. What will the vibe be if that happens?

"We going to get after it," Cook said. "If I'm on the other side, I know he's going to try to beat me, too, by running all over [my team], so I'm going to try to do the same."

It will be nearly two months before we find out James' team and whether that squad is among Minnesota's 2022 opponents.

Until then, Cook is focused on this week, where he said Dalvin offered up some advice on what to be prepared for with the interview process.

"Just know what was expected and what the questions they were going to ask and things like that," Cook said.

On the field, Cook said he will participate in on-field drills with the other running backs on Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Cook has been praised for his pass-catching ability, as he caught 67 passes for 730 yards and six scores in his college career.

That versatility reminds many of Dalvin, who is a threat in both the run and the pass games — and from anywhere on the field.

"Just how he moves with the ball in his hands and he can make guys miss ... we kind of critique that of each other and make each other better," Cook said when asked to compare the two.

"Versatile player, can do it all. I can line up in different positions. I'm a dawg, I'm a leader," Cook later added about himself.

Cook's next adventure will take him to the NFL, and it will be the next chapter of him following in Dalvin's football footsteps.

Like his brother, Cook was a highly-touted recruit out of Florida's Miami Central High School.

"Just growing up in Miami, it was really competitive down there," Cook said. "It's a different environment against the top high schools in the country.

"It really prepares you for the next level," Cook said.

Cook then went to a big-time college program at Georgia, but he had to bide his time before making an impact. He rushed for 775 yards and seven scores in his first three seasons, but totaled 728 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season.

Cook, who quipped that his receiving ability is a 10 out of 10, said he believes his entire skill set is in the same range.

It was a strong end to a college career, and one Cook hopes got the attention of NFL teams.

He certainly already has the attention of his brother, who will also be a measuring stick in the years ahead.

"I just took everything and tried to make the most of it in order to leave my legacy," Cook said. "I know I had a purpose to help us win a national championship. [Georgia] hadn't won one in 40 years.

"As I get older, I can see myself being one of the top guys in the league," Cook added.