Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio has produced such NFL notables as Mike Vrabel and Steve Fitzhugh. Both players stayed in-state to play their college ball, Vrabel at Ohio State and Fitzhugh at Miami University. The latest Walsh Jesuit Warrior sensation, however, has chosen to play at Michigan State. Quarterback Connor Cook gave his verbal to the Spartan staff this past weekend.
"I've always liked Michigan State,” Connor Cook said. "It was one of my dream schools. The visit went really well, and I said 'why wait?' That's where my heart was."
Cook believes Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio has the Spartan squad primed for big things in the future.
"I just feel like there's a power-shift ready to take place in the Big 10," Cook said. "Michigan State had good classes in '09 and '10, and we can have a really good one in '11. I think it's our time to rise. We got players like Lawrence Thomas and Taiwan Jones already committed. We're trying to recruit DeAnthony Arnett and Doran (Grant) to come aboard."
Cook passed for 1,160 yards as a junior. He was 77 for 161 with nine touchdown passes leading his team to a near-miss in making the state playoffs.
"We came up short, so the season was a failure in our eyes," said Cook. "Next year, we're going to make the playoffs and win state. I don't have any personal goals as a senior, I'm a team-oriented guy. I just want us to be victorious."
Cook, 6-4, 190, also received offers from Iowa, UConn, Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke and Illinois. He feels Michigan State's offense will best fit his style of play.
"They run a pro-style offense, and I think I'm a drop back quarterback who can excel in their system," said Cook. "But, I also have mobility and can throw on the run. My size, my athleticism, my ability to make multiple throws such as a touch pass or zipping it in there, and my playmaking ability I'd say are some of my best attributes at the position."
Pat Narduzzi is Cook's primary recruiter at Michigan State. Cook has enjoyed a strong relationship with all of the coaching staff.
"The coaches are becoming like family to me," he said. "When I was looking at colleges I made a list of things most important to me such as distance, conference, facilities, coaches, and Michigan State was at the top of the list. I'm 100-percent solid. When I get mail from other schools I just throw it in the garbage."
Cook plans to attend the Nike camp this summer, the Elite 11 Quarterback camp, and Michigan State's camp. He still has another year at Walsh Jesuit, but already has a plan in store when he arrives at East Lansing.
"I'll probably redshirt my first year," Cook said. "I want to work hard in practice and earn the respect of my teammates. I plan on learning the offense inside out and watching lots of tape and film. I'd like to soak up all the information I can from (Kirk) Cousins. He's a good guy to learn from."
Cook wears jersey No. 3 for the Warriors. In addition to his passing numbers he also rushed 33 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns during his junior campaign.
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