Cook had season to remember

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 8, 1999

For Tulane sophomore wide receiver Kerwin Cook, there couldn’t have been a better way to finish the regular season.

Tulane smashed Louisiana Tech 63-30 to finish the regular season unbeaten as Cook caught nine passes for 171 yards, including touchdown passes of 63 and 59 yards.

&uot;A couple of times I think they mixed up their coverage,&uot; Cook said. &uot;I was running down the field wide open with no one on me. Shaun (King) got the ball to me.&uot;

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Cook admitted catching a pass with no one around you is one of the toughest kind of catches. He backed into the end zone after catching the 59-yarder.

&uot;Those are the type you have to concentrated the most on,&uot; he said. &uot;You know you are out there by yourself all alone and if you catch it you know you are going to score.&uot;

The 6-foot, 174-pound Cook left the Tech secondary behind on his first catch.

&uot;A lot of people were surprised I ran that fast,&uot; said Cook, who runs a 4.4 in the 40. &uot;They’ve just never seen me break a long pass.&uot;

The Louisiana Tech game was the second straight contest Cook caught a touchdown pass. He grabbed a ball tipped three times by Tulane wide receiver John Wilson and ran 38 yards for a touchdown last week against Houston.

&uot;Shaun threw it kind of high and John tipped it,&uot; Cooks said. &uot;I was going over to make a block to spring him downfield, but when they tackled him the ball was just just hanging in the air. I jumped up, grabbed it and sprinted to the end zone.&uot;

Cook has caught 37 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns, most coming in the second half of the season.

&uot;The last couple of weeks a lot of teams have been keying on Jajuan (Dawson)&160;and P.J. (Franklin),&uot;&160;Cook said. &uot;That’s opened it up for me. I haven’t been putting up the big number, but when they pay more attention to those guys, it opens up for me. I always like the opportunity to catch the ball. I just go out and play hard each game and I know sooner or later the ball is going to bounce my way.&uot;

Cook said after last season when the Green Wave finished 7-4, but sat out the postseason that he planned on playing in a bowl game this year. Tulane will face Brigham Young in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.

&uot;That’s a good feeling to know we’ll be playing ball over the Christmas holidays,&uot; Cook said. &uot;That was our plan as a team going into the season.&uot;

Tulane is ranked No. 11 in the AP, ESPN/USA polls and in the Bowl Championship Series.

&uot;We might could be ranked a little higher, but they say it’s because of our strength of schedule,&uot; Cook said. &uot;But we’ve come from not being ranked to be ranked No. 11 now, so I won’t be choosy.&uot;

Tulane head football coach Tommy Bowden reportedly was talking with Clemson Friday.

&uot;I’d like for him to stay at Tulane, but I understand he has to do what is best for him and his family,&uot; Cook said. &uot;Whatever decision he makes, I can live with it.&uot;

Which isn’t quite the reaction of a few players.

&uot;If he leaves, I think it will change the attitude of some players,&uot; Cook said. &uot;I know a couple of players who feel like they’ll be betrayed. If he stays it will hurt because I think his attitude is what turned this program completely around.&uot;