Florida’s offensive woes this season, particularly in the past two games, have confirmed what Miami Central running back Dalvin Cook already knew when he committed to UF in April.
The Gators need him.
Some fans are calling for offensive coordinator Brent Pease to be fired following losses to LSU and Missouri, but Cook doesn’t think coaching is the problem.
“I think a coaching change wouldn’t help at all,” he said. “They have the coaches. We just have to get the right players there. If you didn’t really know football and you just liked Florida, you would probably decommit right now. The offense isn’t looking too good from an outsider’s perspective.
“But the offensive line needs some work, and they’re lacking the playmakers. There are plays there to be made with what the coaching are calling, but nobody is stepping up and making them. I feel like I can do that.”
Cook is the Gators’ highest ranked commit on ESPN and was No. 1 in The Sun’s list of Florida’s Top 50 seniors. He spoke with both UF coach Will Muschamp and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, his primary recruiter, over the weekend.
“They just told me hang in there and that they need me in The Swamp to bring the excitement back and get the offense going how it used to be,” he said.
With quarterback Will Grier and receiver Ermon Lane also on board, two recruits Cook saw in action at The Opening, he believes the trio of All-Americans will turn things around.
“I look at the future, and the future is bright for Florida,” he said. “The guys we got coming in can make an impact at the positions that are lacking, and we’ll be alright.”
The 5-foot-11, 192-pounder has always wanted to take trips other schools despite his pledge to the Gators, and that’s still the case. He has already been to Texas and will officially visit Florida State, Arkansas and Southern Cal.
Cook planned on using his last official to visit UF but now wants to check out either Alabama, Ohio State or South Florida instead.
“I just want to see other places, but I’m 100 percent committed to Florida,” he said. “I’ve been there three times and saw everything I needed to. The only thing I haven’t seen is a game, and I’m going to the Florida State game.”
Cook said he will not back off his commitment if UF continues to struggle in 2013.
“If you’re a Gator, and you’re a real Gator, you’ll be there no matter what happens,” he said. “Every program has ups and downs. Our time will come. We just have to be patient.”