Fast and Physical with Intelligence to Match, Texas LB Target Terrance Cooks is the Complete Package

TD Jones

The coronavirus pandemic that swept across the country this spring may have shut down schools and halted spring workouts, but Terrance Cooks didn’t let it slow down his rapid rise as a prospect.

Cooks, a three-star linebacker at Shadow Creek High School just south of Houston, acknowledges the challenges that the shutdown imposed, especially on players at large schools such as Shadow Creek that participate in spring football

“The biggest thing I had to do was find ways to work out and learn to work out on my own,” he said. “I’d tell myself that everyone else is working out and getting better than me. You have to push yourself so you’re not at a disadvantage.”

That ability to push himself has helped Cooks stand out in a loaded Shadow Creek program that won a Class 5A Division I state championship last season and has produced multiple FBS recruits in its four-year history. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound outside linebacker was part of a rotation at the position for the unbeaten Sharks last season, but he still ranked second on the team with 70 tackles and three forced fumbles.

Cooks’ sideline to sideline jumps off the film, and it’s a big reason why Cooks has received offers from in-state heavyweights Texas and Texas A&M as well as powerhouses like Oklahoma and Alabama outside the state’s borders.

“‘I’m a speed demon,” he says, citing a time of 4.53 in the 40-yard-dash. “I’m physical, fast, intelligent, and I feel I have good instincts. People say in this new age of football, I’m a prototype at outside LB.”

Shadow Creek coach Brad Butler says that Cooks' relentless play will help him make an immediate impact at the next level.

“I have told these college coaches they will be ready to offer him off of his play on kick off coverage alone,” Butler said. “It does not take long to see the playmaking ability and potential that he possesses."

While Cooks isn’t ready to commit to a program, he admits that he’s ready for the recruiting process to end.

“I’m blessed to be recruited, but it’s not as easy as it looks,” he said. “I’m being pulled out of three or four classes a day in the spring (to talk with recruiters), and it definitely feels like people are invading your privacy. I deal with it, but sometimes I just need a break. I mean, I’m a kid.”

Cooks, who has overcome his lifelong speech impediment of stuttering, carries a 3.8 grade point average into his senior year and professes a desire to study biology and environmental science in college. Hitting the books is as much a part of his identity as hitting a running back, he says, stressing that players should avoid the stereotypes that can follow football players.

“I'Il tell kids all the time that it’s OK to be different, it’s OK to be a goofball, just be yourself,” he said. “Ordinary people can find extraordinary ways to be something great.”

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