Dalvin Cook knows where he wants play college football.
He’s just keeping it to himself — for now.
Cook, who led all running backs in Miami-Dade and Broward County with 34 touchdowns and 1,940 yards rushing this season, was presented Saturday with the South Florida player of the year award from the Warren Henry Auto Group and Tournament of Champions, Inc.
Cook played an integral role leading Miami Central to its third state championship in four seasons, and beat out Miami Booker T. Washington quarterback and Florida State commitment Treon Harris for the award.
Since winning a state title on Dec. 14, Cook shut down his college recruitment because he has already come to a decision. He plans on sharing it with the world on Jan. 2, 2014 during halftime of the Under Armour All-America Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
Cook, rated the second-best running back in the nation by 247Sports, is down to Florida, Miami and Florida State — despite being orally committed to the Gators since a spring visit in April. He has kept his recruitment open since pledging to UF in hopes of “finding where my heart really is.” UF’s disappointing season combined with the improvements UM and FSU had this year have also had an impact.
“I feel great about all the schools in Florida right now,” Cook said. “At any time a program can go down and a program can go up.
“I just feel like if you’re a great player, a team is always missing that one guy that can take them to the next level. And if you trust in yourself and you go do it and you put your mind to it, you can change the team.”
With the spring semester starting on Jan. 6, 2014 at UF and FSU, and Jan. 13, 2014 at UM, Cook said “when I announce my decision, the next day I’m going to have all my paperwork gone. It’s ready to go right now, just don’t have an address to send it to.”
Whether he stays solid to UF, travels further north to play at FSU, or remains close to home at UM remains to be seen. Cook said he has reached a comfort level with the coaching staffs from each school, and also has a few familiar faces — whom he referred to as brothers — waiting to see if he’ll join them.
Cook’s current teammate and close friend Joseph Yearby is committed to UM, while his brother DeAndre Burnett is a member of the Hurricanes basketball team. Cook also has a strong relationship with former Miami Central tailback Devonta Freeman at FSU, and Homestead wide receiver and fellow UF commitment Ermon Lane.
And then there’s his immediate family, whom Cook said will support him regardless of the school he attends.
“My family is always going to have an opinion on my decision, and I always listen to them,” Cook said. “My whole family grew up Canes fans and I grew up a Canes fan. So it was hard with the recruiting process because I could’ve easily been a Cane.
“But you know, I had to think things out for myself and I had to think it over and, and I just came to a decision.”
Cook said shutting down his recruitment has given him some peace of mind, allowed him to spend more time with his family, and fantasize about what college will be like when he starts as an early enrollee.
"Right now, I don’t even think about recruiting," Cook said. "I just think about my family right now and just enjoying this time with them."
BOYS’ BASKETBALLDade Christian 67, Palmer Trinity 49 (Palmer Trinity Holiday Shootout Championship): DC (10-1): PT: North Broward Prep 57, Kentucky Grant County 47: NBP: KGC: Flanagan 67, Coral Springs Christian 63: FLA: CSC: Deerfield Beach 55, Alabama Carver 50: DB: Western 44, Belen Jesuit 32: WES: . BJ:
GIRLS’ BASKETBALLMiami High 52, Edgewater 50 (Crescon Bank Holiday Invitational Championship): MIA: EW: St. Brendan 44, Mater Academy 41 OT: SB (10-4): MAT: Late Friday - Northwestern 44, Catalina High 37: NW (14-3): CH:
BOYS’ SOCCERLate Friday - American 3, Varela 1: Late Friday - Ransom Everglades 4, Fort Pierce Central 1: