Cook ready to continue DHS DI defensive end legacy

As his senior season draws near, Demopolis defensive end Rahmeel Cook has been collecting scholarship offers from Division I programs.

“It started up and down. After I got my first offer, it just picked up. I’m in touch with a lot of schools right now, so it has been going good as of late,” Cook said.

The latest in a line of standout defensive ends for Demopolis, Cook has already received offers from Southern Miss, Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State.

Cook expects to play defensive end at the collegiate level but acknowledges that he may be asked to move to linebacker depending on both the scheme and the school.

“All of my offers right now are as a defensive end. Some of the larger schools I’m talking to can see me playing a 3-4 outside backer. For a bigger school, it would just be adding weight to my frame, but there is still the option that I could play defensive end in college. If not, it’ll be as an outside linebacker,” Cook said of his conversations with recruiters.

“He has been a good leader. He is a hard worker. He sets the example (in the weight room). He carries himself well in the dressing room and in the halls. On the field, he works,” Demopolis coach Stacy Luker said of the character Cook displays that sets him apart as much as his on-field ability. “Any time you’ve got a Division I football player, they’re supposed to act different and practice different. You’re supposed to notice their effort and notice the way they carry themselves. You notice that about him.”

Cook, a 6-3, 210-pounder, has attended camps at Georgia Southern and Troy as well a satellite camp with Arkansas State, events that have helped him gain face-to-face opportunities with collegiate coaches.

“I started with the satellite camp with Arkansas State because it’s a team that I know I’ve been in touch with,” Cook said. “It just gives me an opportunity to work on my craft and get in person for some of the schools that haven’t seen anything but film.”

Cook has played the entirety of his varsity career behind or alongside eventual ACC defensive ends Tyler Meriweather (Georgia Tech) and Tim Bonner (Louisville). That experience, Cook said, has helped to develop him as a player.

“With Tyler, it was a lot of watching what he does. He’s a good guy with good character, one of the guys that does everything right. It was different with each one of them. With Tim, he taught me how to play with a constant motor. I learned a little bit from both of them,” Cook said.

That intensity and hustle has become part of Cook’s trademark on the field, a point of pride in his game.

“My motor and my energy on the field, the way I run around. I love running around, chasing folks down and making plays that I’m not really supposed to be in or supposed to make, but I’m there anyway,” Cook said.

“He’s fast off the edges. He knows how to fight, knows how to scrap. He’ll make adjustments on the fly. The attention to him is going to open up our other side,” Luker said before noting that the defensive end opposite Cook this season may well end up a Division I player in his own right. “We’re going to have Travares Hall opposite of him and Travares has gotten a lot of attention this spring. He is an under-the-radar football player right now. Rahmeel has had Tyler and Tim opposite of him, now he is still going to have a DI potential defensive end opposite of him and that’s going to be good for him.”

Cook, who had 82 tackles, 22 TFLs, seven sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 2014, has already qualified for the next level academically and will now be able to focus his energies on improving his on-field ability.

“Probably just working on the small things and really trying to perfect my craft as a high school player so going into college it will be just a smooth transition upward and I’m not having to learn anything that I’m supposed to have already learned,” Cook said of where he needs to improve between now and National Signing Day.