Judge Augustus D. Aikens Jr. has set jury selection in the Dalvin Cook case for Aug. 21, with the trial beginning on Aug. 24.
Aikens heard arguments from the prosecution and defense on Wednesday morning and ruled in favor of an expedited trial.
Aikens and attorneys quickly reached a consensus in favor of an earlier trial date.
The former Miami Central High star was set to be arraigned on Sept. 2, with a potential trial beginning in October. Now Cook will have his trial, and a ruling will be known well ahead of the start of Florida State’s season on Sept. 5 at home against Texas State.
The sophomore tailback at FSU has been charged with misdemeanor battery after he allegedly punched a woman outside a Tallahassee bar in June. He is suspended indefinitely, and coach Jimbo Fisher said he is awaiting the facts in the case to come out.
Cook was seen outside the Leon County Courthouse but did not appear in court on Wednesday. As a freshman last season, Cook ran for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns.
Florida State has gained a linebacker and lost one at the same time.
Junior-college transfer Lorenzo Phillips was cleared to practice and was on the field with the Seminoles for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.
“That’s very critical getting him out there,” Fisher said. “We need that body. Size, speed, experience. He’s a good player. We have to give him the knowledge of what we do.”
But FSU lost redshirt sophomore Matthew Thomas, a former five-star player from the class of 2014. Fisher confirmed that Thomas is ineligible for the 2015 season for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Phillips, 247Sports’ No. 1 junior-college linebacker, could provide immediate help to a thinned group. In the past 10 months, FSU has lost Ukeme Eligwe (dismissed), EJ Levenberry (transferred to UConn), Kain Daub (transferred to Brooklyn ASA College) and now Thomas.
THIS AND THAT
▪ Fisher said that defensive ends Lorenzo Featherston and Chris Casher will need to have their knees scoped. He thinks both will be back prior to the start of the season.
▪ Fisher raved about how well fullback Freddie Stevenson has done in the first week of preseason camp. “Freddie Stevenson is playing so good, it’s crazy,” Fisher said. “Whether he’s running it, catching it, blocking. Been very, very pleased.”