COVINGTON, Ga. – Eastside High’s Noah Cook continued a busy May that started with spring football practice and ended with a visit to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp competition.
Now back home in Covington, Cook looks to prepare for the upcoming fall football season and participate in summer workouts for baseball with Bill Dallas’ Covington Post 32 A’s American Legion baseball team.
Coming off a successful year as the starting quarterback for the Eagles, Cook earned an opportunity to compete against the nation’s best prep football quarterbacks in Nashville.
The News’ Daniel Richardson was able to catch up with Cook and discuss the aftermath of the Elite 11, what’s next and what it means for his development as a signal caller.
Richardson: When you got to Nashville for the Elite 11 camp, and you were actually in the environment, what were your initial thoughts about the challenge ahead of you?
Cook: “Well, there was a lot of kids there…and you have some (who) are five stars, some are four stars. It was an environment that was very – there was a lot of talent there. It was a lot of fun to surround myself with that kind of talent and just compete and just try and get better.”
Richardson: You said there was a good amount of talent competing at the camp, and obviously you had a breakout season last year as a starting quarterback for an Eastside team that did very well. How do you think your performance in Nashville matched up with those other guys?
Cook: “I think I performed well and held my own, so to speak. You know, a lot of times size will play into a lot of things, and with a lot of those guys, I feel like that was the only disadvantage of where I was at. [In terms of] arm talent I proved to be a good quarterback, and that’s really pretty much all it is.”
Richardson: What kinds of drills and competitions did the coaches have the quarterbacks go through, and what was the process of evaluation like for everyone?
Cook: “The main thing we did was just on perfecting what we [already] do. A lot of the kids there, they wouldn’t be there – nobody would be there – if they didn’t need to be there. So they understood that everybody there knew what they were doing already, and so [they made a point] to see how much higher you can set the bar for yourself.”
Richardson: From your own perspective, what would you say was the highlight of the camp or your personal highlight moment?
Cook: “I was just as coachable as I could be and just making sure that they knew I was taking in everything. And if I did something wrong, or if I didn’t do something exactly the way they wanted me too, the next rep I made sure I did it how they wanted me to. That was probably my favorite thing about the camp.”
Richardson: Just to stay on that topic just a little bit, what is an example of something that a coach wanted to see out of you and the other guys in attendance?
Cook: “[At Eastside] we do everything out of shotgun. So we did under center at the camp, and they wanted to see how well we ran things from under center and taking drops and just getting used to doing something completely different and being uncomfortable and still being able to do it [well].”
Richardson: As far as progress goes, what are the next steps for you with the Elite 11, what does the next round look like?
Cook: “There’s another round in Texas and [now] I wait to hear if I made it on to the next round.”
Richardson: So what do you think, do you feel that you did enough to make it to Texas?
Cook: “I would like to be, but there’s a lot of good guys there and a lot of big names there and I think it’d be kind of hard for me to make it to that next round. But, I mean, I hope I do – that would be amazing. It would help out a lot especially with the recruiting process. I guess it comes down to their committee and what they saw [in me] and what they think and who they think should go to the next round.”
Richardson: What’s your outlook on your role as a senior quarterback after the season and offseason you’ve had?
Cook: “I just hope to be in the same leadership role that I was in last year. We got some guys who can play. [And] like I did last year in kind of that leadership role, just doing what I need to do to help our team to be successful.”