Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sleeper of the Day: Seeing double

It took awhile, but now Mt. Pleasant coach Mike Johns can tell Ryan and Zach Cook apart. But it does help that Zach wears a No.40 jersey, while Ryan pulls on No.44.

See, Ryan and Zach are identical twins, and almost carbon copies on a football field. Both are outside linebackers. And if Zach’s a little longer, Ryan’s a little stronger, not that you’d notice in either case.

Both players are in the 5-foot-11, 210-pound range, and last season, Zach was in on 120 tackles, Ryan on 113. Ryan, though, missed one game or they might have finished dead even in that category as well.

Both, of course, run the same 4.6-second 40-yard dash.

“And they’re best friends,” says Johns. They also put the shot and throw the discus in track.

The twins come from good bloodlines. Dad Jeff Cook was a football letterman at Wake Forest.

Their lack of height has kept the area’s bigger schools away, but FCS schools like Elon and The Citadel, and Division II programs like Catawba are strongly interested. And their dad believes they might not be done growing.

“I was a 6-4, 245-pound outside linebacker at Wake Forest in the ‘80s, so they have a lot of growing left to do,” Jeff Cook wrote in an email.

Also helping is the twins’ athleticism; both previously were highly rated competitors in youth soccer and wrestling.

They've been invited to 22 college summer one-day camps, and they hope to attend college together, but it's not a requirement. Now, if dad’s genes can give them an inch or two more, look for the area’s bigger schools—including the Deacons—to take serious notice. –Stan Olson

Our Sleeper of the Day item targets under-noticed Carolinas football recruiting prospects. As always, if you have a candidate, email me at

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