James Cook on decision to reclassify and more James Cook on decision to reclassify and more

Recruit Diaries James Cook on decision to reclassify and more

By is a partner of USA TODAY High School Sports. This entry is with James Cook, a running back from Miami Central who announced Sunday that he is reclassifying to the Class of 2018. Cook has committed to Florida State.

James Cook (Photo: 247 Sports)

James Cook (Photo: 247 Sports)

Think about this, it’s 2018 and the Florida State Seminoles are searching for their first national championship since the 2016 season. Dalvin Cook won his Heisman that year and the Seminoles went undefeated to win the national championship. But two years later, who are they going to turn to in order to lead them back to the Promised Land? Look no further than James Cook, the freshman running back is finally on campus and will be dominating defenses for the next three to four years. This is James Cook back with my third diary entry, and this one is going to be bigger and better than ever.

My name is James Cook, and I am part of the class of 2018. Yes, you read that right. On Sunday, the news broke that I would be reclassifying, moving up a grade, and graduating early. Reclassifying is not something new to the world of recruiting. It happens all the time in basketball, but it is seen a lot less in football. I never really thought about reclassifying until after my freshman football season. I am already 16 and will be turning 17 on Sept. 25, and if I stayed in the class of 2019, I would not have been able to play my senior year since I would be 19. This was one of the biggest factors behind my decision to reclassify, but other factors also played a big role.

MORE: For more of the nation’s top recruits in their own words, visit

My family was a big reason I made the decision, without their support this wouldn’t be possible. They make sure I stay on top of everything and handle my business in the classroom before anything. I know that if I don’t succeed in the classroom, I can’t play football. I will have to take a lot of classes in a shorter amount of time in order to graduate in 2018, but with my family supporting me I know they will push me to do my best. They have made sure that I will succeed and I am going to reward them by taking full advantage of this opportunity.

A lot of people are going to question the decision I made, but I honestly believe this is going to be the best thing for my family and me. All the coaches at school were supportive and I know that I can go to them if I need anything; they always have my back and are my family. It was a hard choice because all of my friends are Class of 2019, and I was the guy in that class. I was the top freshman player in the country, in my mind nobody was going to take that spot from me, either. It was difficult to make the decision official because some people are going to try to say negative things about me and try to say I made the wrong choice and blame it on my family.

It was probably the hardest decision I have made in my life so far, but now I am going to work even harder than before in order to justify this decision.


For more of this diary, click here

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