Cook commits to Army, extends Demopolis DI commit streak

11-5-2015 - Demopolis, Ala. - Demopolis' Rahmeel Cook brings down the Charles Henderson quarterback for a sack as Travares Hall closes in. Cook's commitment to Army marks three straight seasons in which a Tiger defensive end has headed to a Division I team.

11-5-2015 – Demopolis, Ala. – Demopolis’ Rahmeel Cook brings down the Charles Henderson quarterback for a sack as Travares Hall closes in. Cook’s commitment to Army marks three straight seasons in which a Tiger defensive end has headed to a Division I team.

Demopolis is sending a defensive end to the Division I ranks for the third consecutive year as Rahmeel Cook has committed to Army.

Cook, the 6-2, 215-pound leader of the Demopolis defense, chose West Point over offers from Southern Miss and Troy.

“It was really the opportunities outside of football but, at the same time, I’ll still be playing DI football,” Cook, an Advanced Placement student at DHS, said of his decision. “I’ll be on the field early, so I’ll be playing.”

“I think for him right now, he’s looking at his future 10 or 12 years down the road,” Demopolis coach Stacy Luker said. “That opens a lot of doors for him.”

Cook noted that he weighed the gravity of the military obligation that accompanies playing at West Point before ultimately deciding to take the opportunity.

“That’s a major thing to start with a degree from somewhere like that. I don’t think anything could match it,” Cook said. “Going into it, the main thing was that as long as it is not too big of a commitment. The commitment isn’t that bad. It’s the four years in school and the five after. The benefits outweigh that.”

Cook recorded 65 total tackles and five sacks for the Tigers in 2015, a season in which he sat at least most of the second half in four regular season games.

“They’re getting top quality, a hard worker, a good leader and a heck of a football player. He knows the game,” Luker said. “He’s got a good motor. He’s very coachable. He’s real technique sound. “Rahmeel is a three-year starter. You lose a DI guy and it’s hard. Demopolis has been fortunate. They’ve had Division I defensive ends stepping in for Division I defensive ends.”

Cook figures to get looks as both a defensive end and an outside linebacker for Army but expects he will spend most his time with his hand in the dirt where he has made his success with 150 tackles over the last two seasons.

“They want me to still be able to play D-line. I could play some outside backer in a 3-4 scheme, but they want me to play D-end,” Cook said.

“I think they’re going to look at him at both. I think he is right in between,” Luker added. “But they know how good he is with his hand on the ground, so I really look for them to leave him there at defensive end.”

Cook is continuing his focus in the weight room in view of his commitment and noted that he has every intention of improving before setting foot on campus.

“Just keep working on the small things, the fundamentals, stay in the weight room and make the process of reaching Division I size a little bit easier when I get to school,” Cook said.

Cook’s commitment to Army follows the signing of Tim Bonner with Louisville in 2014 and Tyler Merriweather with Georgia Tech in 2013. And while the commitment continues a streak for Demopolis, it also has Cook enriching the military tradition of his family.

“I’ve got family members who have been in the service and for me to go to West Point and not have to start where they started is really exciting for them,” Cook said.