Cook Carving Own Path As Future Iowa QB
IOWA CITY, Ia. – Drew Cook was in seventh grade when he decided to not be like his father in one respect.
“I started out at receiver and after our first practice, my seventh-grade coach, Dan Ahrens, noticed that I had a big arm for my age and I just kept practicing the quarterback position and kept getting better and better and I fell in love with it,” Cook said in a recent inteview.
It made sense that Cook would play receiver because he is the son of Marv Cook, who is one of the greatest tight ends in the history of the Iowa football program.
But Drew was taught at a young age to think for himself and to carve his own path. Drew was determined to play quarterback after switching positions in seventh grade and his father is pleased with the results so far.
“I’m a big fan of Nile Kinnick and I just bought his book for all the graduating seniors and there is a passage where he is talking about how you’re given three names,” said Marv Cook, who was Drew’s head football coach at Iowa City Regina. “Your family name when you were born; the name your parents bestowed on you and then the name that you earn for yourself.
“And I think, sometimes, it can be a burden to have the name Cook and be going to Iowa. But he’s in a position now where he needs to really go out and make a name for himself and do what he needs to do to move forward and accomplish his dreams.”
Drew Cook will take another step forward on Monday when he starts training under the watchful eye of Chris Doyle, who is the veteran strength and conditioning coach for the Iowa football team.
Drew is part of Iowa’s incoming recruiting class, which has 21 players, including nine from the state of Iowa. He committed to the Hawkeyes on the spot after being offered a scholarship by Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz in February of his junior year in 2014.
“It’s on my mind a lot,” Drew said of being a Hawkeye. “I drive past the facility and Kinnick Stadium every day, so it’s, honestly, always on my mind. It’s something I’m really excited about and something I’m really looking forward to.”
Drew Cook always wanted be a Hawkeye just like his father, who played at Iowa from 1985-88 before spending seven seasons in the NFL. Drew embraces his father’s proud legacy, but he isn’t intimidated by it.
“I don’t feel any pressure,” Drew Cook said. “I want to make a name for myself.
“As great as it is being my dad’s son, I’m just excited to continue to build on what I’ve made of myself and my name.”
Drew Cook’s name will forever be etched in the minds of Regina fans with everything that he has accomplished in athletics.
In addition to being an all-state quarterback, Drew also starred in basketball for the Regals as a high-scoring forward. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder led Regina to back-to-back Class 1A state titles in football as a junior and senior, and also led the Regina basketball team to a runner-up finish at the state tournament in March.
Regina finished with a 27-1 record with Drew as its starting quarterback.
“It’s been awesome,” Cook said of his high school experience. “I tell people I have no regrets over my last four years here. They’ve been filled with a lot of great memories and I’ve had a lot of experiences here with the coaches and my teammates that I think will get me ready for the next level.”
Cook is one of two quarterbacks in Iowa’s incoming recruiting class, the other being Ryan Boyle from West Des Moines Dowling Catholic.
Ferentz would prefer to redshirt both of them next season, but the circumstances might not allow for that to happen since Jake Rudock has transferred to Michigan. Rudock was Iowa’s starting quarterback in each of the past two seasons before losing the job to backup C.J. Beathard shortly after the end of last season.
Rudock’s departure will leave Iowa with just four quarterbacks on scholarship next season, including Cook and Boyle. Beathard will be the only quarterback on Iowa’s 2015 roster with any game experience.
“That doesn’t change anything,” Drew Cook said of Rudock’s situation. “I’m going to go in there with the same mindset that I’m just going to do what the coaches say and work hard like I always do and see what happens.”
Some fans assume that Drew Cook will follow in his father’s footsteps and eventually switch to tight end at Iowa. Marv Cook played quarterback for West Branch High school before switching to tight end at Iowa.
Marv said it’s wrong to make any assumptions about Drew because Drew is more talented and more advanced than he was as a quarterback in high school.
Marv just wants Drew to have a chance to prove himself behind center.
“It’ll play out in time,” Marv Cook said. “I know that he’s going to do the best he can and whatever they ask him to do, he’s going to be coachable and have fun doing it.”
The scouting report on Drew Cook doesn’t seem to change.
Whether coming from a teammate, a coach, an opponent or just an acquaintance, everybody says the same thing about Cook. They always praise his immense talent, but not without stressing that he is a better person off the field.
“Through the whole (recruiting) process, probably the one thing that stands out to me, honestly, and I think it gets overlooked a lot in recruiting, is the coaches always kind of inferred to me they wanted Drew the young man to be a part of their program,” Marv Cook said. “And it was always that. It was not necessarily the football player to some extent. They just wanted Drew to be a part of what they’re doing and what they’re trying to accomplish. As a parent, that kind of makes you feel good.
“And then you meet all these other guys that are coming in and then you realize that they’re great young men and you’re excited for the opportunities he’s going to have a head of him.”
Drew could’ve lived on campus this summer while training with the Iowa football team, but he chose to stay at home with his family. Drew is the oldest of Marv and Tracy Cook’s three children. Drew’s sister Logan just finished her freshman year at West High, while his younger brother Ashton just finished sixth grade at Regina.
“It’s one last summer just to enjoy it with my family and get acclimated to Iowa’s program,” Drew said.
Drew plans to wear No. 18 at Iowa, but for no special reason.
“That just something the coaches decided,” Drew said. “I like the number, so I’m happy about it.”
Drew doesn’t refer to himself as a dual-threat quarterback, but that’s how he played the position in high school while accumulating over 7,000 total yards.
“I like making plays with my arm,” Drew said. “But if I get pressured I can always run the ball and make plays with my feet.”
Marv Cook is eager to see how Drew develops under Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis, who has spent most of his career coaching college quarterbacks. Davis was the offensive coordinator at Texas where he coached standout quarterbacks Vince Young and Colt McCoy.
At Regina, Drew was coached by his father and by former Iowa receiver Ed Hinkel, who is Regina’s offensive coordinator.
“I think they’re getting a guy that’s still developing, still learning the game,” Marv Cook said of his son. “I joke around a lot that he was coached by a tight end and a wide receiver (at Regina). Now I’m excited that he gets coached by a guy that coached Vince Young and Colt McCoy.
“I think he still has lots of upside. He’s got the ability to go in and learn and he’s got enough athleticism where I think he can be effective if things break down a little bit. I’m excited for him and the opportunities ahead of him. And we’ll see how it all plays out.”