- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Senior running back Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central) was presented his honorary game jersey Thursday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month selection tour.
Cook, a Florida commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The game will be played at 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.
"I just want to thank everybody for pushing me to be here, where I'm at today," Cook said. "I want to thank my family, my coaches, the whole support staff, the principal, everybody. I just want to thank y'all."
Miami Central head coach Roland Smith says Cook has kept his speed while adding more muscle mass and power to his game.
"He was always a fast kid, but I think what ma2de him the great back he is now is getting in the weight room … hitting the weight room hard, putting on the mass that he has now to go with that speed that makes him a scary back to tackle. Because when he hits the corner, not only are you seeing a fast back, but you are seeing a fast big back that is 5-11 and close to 200 pounds that can run real fast … a 4.3 kid."
Cook chose the Under Armour All-American Game because of the glowing reviews the game has received from players in Miami that have played in it.
"They told me they had a great time at the game and enjoyed their experience. The aspects I'm looking forward to being coached by some of the great coaches…and being around some of the best talent in the nation and trying to showcase my talent. With this game being featured by Trent Richardson, Julio Jones and Jadeveon Clowney, I just feel like if I keep working … I can be where they are at," Cook said.
The 5-foot-11, 196-pound Cook is the No. 23 prospect in the ESPN 300 and the No. 4 running back in the class. He committed to Florida over offers from Clemson, USC, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Auburn and several others.