Ex-Georgia Bulldog James Cook discussed his arrest with NFL teams

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

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Former UGA running back James Cook has discussed his recent arrest with NFL teams during his time at the scouting combine.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

He has met with Falcons coach Arthur Smith, general manager Terry Fontenot

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Georgia running back James Cook has had to answer questions from NFL teams about his arrest in college and why he pulled out of the Senior Bowl during interviews at the scouting combine.

Cook was arrested and charged with driving without a valid license and possessing an open alcoholic-beverage container in his passenger area in December 2019.

“Yes,” Cook said when asked if teams wanted to know more about the arrest. “That’s just something that you learn and you grow from as a young man. I learned from it. It was something that just … was moving too fast. When you’re moving fast, things like that happen.”

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Cook, who was listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds at Georgia, has been a model citizen since.

“I’m not that type of person,” Cook said. “I’ve never been that type of person. It’s just that things happened. I feel like the teams that want me know the real. They know who the person I am. I just feel like I’m not that type of person. Ever since then, I showed who I am.”

Cook, the younger brother of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, has met with the Falcons, and they wanted to know about the situation, too.

“Yeah, it went good,” Cook said. “I talked to the head coach (Arthur Smith) and GM (Terry Fontenot). I talked to everybody. It went good.”

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Cook also had to address why he pulled out of the Senior Bowl. He said his reason wasn’t because he didn’t want to run the 40-yard dash.

“I pulled out of the Senior Bowl because I felt like everybody has seen me play at the highest level,” Cook said. “I won a national championship. I played a lot of football.”

Cook mostly was a backup as he played in 15 games and made only three starts in 2021.

He rushed 113 times for 728 yards and seven touchdowns. He had a career-high 112 yards receiving in the Orange Bowl against Michigan and had a career-long run of 67 yards in the College Football Playoff Championship game against Alabama.

He didn’t run with power at times but displayed big-play ability. He’s rated as a potential third-down back who’ll need to get better in pass protection.

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