From YSU to the NFL, player relies on education

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A YSU Penguin is pursuing his dream while still planning and preparing for his future.

Jamaine Cook rushed for more than 4,000 yards in four years with the YSU Penguins football team. The Cleveland Browns signed the Cleveland kid to their practice squad a year ago. But Cook also stars in the classroom, currently taking classes to earn his accounting degree from YSU.

“I’m a firm believer that hard work pays off, and I think that I’ve seen a lot of dividends from that. I am going to keep at it,” said Cook. “I realize this degree, that I need this to take me further in life.”

Cook signed a signed a two-year futures contract with the Browns after last season. Monday he’ll report to the team’s practice facility in Berea to start working out.

“Every kids grows up wanting to play for their home team. It is honestly just a blessing because it helps me with school, too,” said Cook. “I can commute back forth when I have classes.”

Cook’s hard work, effort and dedication to sports and studies aren’t lost on his classmates or professors. Dr. Peter Woodlock, YSU professor of accounting and finance, said he has been watching Cook on and off the field.

“I am amazed at the amount of things that Jamaine can do,” said Woodlock.

Cook is still on his fifth year of academic scholarship with YSU. He has a couple classes left and should graduate either this summer or next spring, depending on how things go with the Browns.

“At the end of the day, I have more than one egg in the basket. I have my football career and also have my degree backing me, so the sky’s the limit,” said Cook.

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