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By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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6-foot-3, 283-pound left offensive tackle Caleb Cook will be counted on for senior leadership and on the field prowess ahead of the 2020 season.

After missing the playoffs, while being blanked in Region play during the 2018 Campaign; Head Coach Sean Pender was able to bounce back and lead Brunswick (Ga.) to the second round of the GHSA playoffs in 2019. Reclassification has slightly affected Region 2-AAAAAA with the additions of Guyton (Ga.) South Effingham and Statesboro (Ga.). Making the playoffs has become just a little harder for the former five team region.

One player Coach Pender will be counting on for senior leadership and on the field prowess is 6-foot-3, 283-pound left offensive tackle Caleb Cook. Cook is coming off a season where he was named First Team All-Region while paving the way for over 4,000 yards of total offense. Cook was also selected and played in the GACA North-South All-Star Classic.

“Caleb is a great individual and a high character kid that works real hard in the weight room and the classroom,” Pender said. “We have a character education class and he is one of the leaders is taking younger kids under his wing.”
Even more impressive about this versatile offensive lineman may be his academic standing. Cook currently holds down a 3.9 GPA and has scored a whopping 27 on the ACT. That alone opens the door to all colleges as a potential recruit. Cook is either in Honor’s Classes or AP Classes. This semester he is taking AP Language Arts and AP US History.

“He is the strongest kid in our weight room and his mobility with great hips makes him a tremendous player,” Pender said. “He is definitely going to be one of our captains this year. He will be counted on to lead the offensive line as our only senior along the front. He will be more two-dimensional this fall and will see more time on the defensive side of the ball; he is just a great run-stopper.”

Speaking of his weight room accomplishments, Cook boasts a 320-pound bench, 510-pound squat and a 315-pound power clean. When not lifting or getting ready for gridiron greatness, Cook takes part in the shot and discus for the Pirate track squad.

On the recruiting front Cook already holds offers from Georgia State, Grambling, Navy and Wofford while receiving strong interest from Florida State, Furman, Georgia Southern and Tennessee. He does admit one school he’d like to hear more from is North Carolina.

“I’m in contact daily with all the schools that have offered via text or twitter and I really would like to take unofficial visits to all the schools that offer me,” Cook said. “One coach that really stands out to me is Coach Alex Atkins of Florida State, especially after my unofficial visit there. I just really like his personality and how he approaches the game. He has seen a lot and knows what he is talking about; He is just fun to be around.”

Cook has already taken several unofficial visits having made stops at Auburn, Coastal Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Kentucky and Wofford.  In the near future he plans on stopping by Tennessee in April and is visiting Georgia Southern again this Saturday.

“I really think Florida State and Tennessee are knocking at the door; if one pulls the trigger more FBS offers will come,” Pender said. “He has FBS capability with a massive wing span but some schools are stuck on other measurable things. He can play all five positions for us and I really think a lot of schools are looking at him as a center. He has to play tackle for us because of his experience and athleticism, but he can make all the line calls.”

Recently Cook took part in the MVP Camp held in Valdosta where he finished in the top five for linemen. Last spring he camped at Auburn, Florida and South Carolina. This spring/summer camp season will be even busier; he plans on hitting Kentucky, Tennessee and a plethora of other college camps.

“What makes Caleb a great player and prospect is his energy and how contagious it is to others around him,” Pender said. “He is great at running his feet with tenacity and finishing his blocks. He takes great pride in his pancakes and blocking through the whistle. If you statistically miss one of his pancake blocks, you’ll hear about it.”

Not only is winning a Region Championship one of Cook’s top goals, but beating crosstown rival Brunswick (Ga.) Glynn Academy for the first time since 2013.The last two seasons the Pirates have been edged out for the Red Terror by a total of just nine points.

“I’m just going to have to put the weight on my shoulders this season,” Cook said. “I’ve always led on the field, but I have to become a more vocal leader on the field. I have to build the team up so we can go all the way. Personally I’m going to work on my foot speed and coming off the ball straight and hard with the attitude of killing my opponent.”

It’s just a matter of time before offers start pouring in from all over the country. Cook possesses too many great attributes as a person, player and prospect not to gain national attention. The key too long term success in the game of football is versatility and he has already demonstrated that on the field of play. Couple all this with stellar academics and one day the recruiting world will become a marble in the palm of his hand.