Ever seen a player’s numbers and just sat back wide eyed at how monstrous they were in college? Ever seen a player who played at your school and wished you could’ve seen him play? How about the best question of all. Did you know your school once had a player get drafted 2nd......overall?
That man was Johnie Cooks. He was drafted 2nd overall in the 1982 NFL Draft by the (then) Baltimore Colts. He bounced around for a bit, but eventually got a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Giants. His pro career wasn’t all that special. But woah buddy was his college career special.
Let me put it to you like this. He lettered in all 4 years, amassed 373 tackles (241 of those unassisted), and was defensive MVP of the 1981 Hall of Fame Bowl. All this while getting a degree in Physical Education.
I’d say ole Johnie was pretty good.
He was a huge part of our upset win over Alabama in 1980 as well. Overall, both statistically and based on raw play making ability, he was, is, and probably always will be the greatest defensive player in school history. I mean come on. He was the 2nd best player in the country! How could he not be the greatest in school history on the defensive side of the ball? The stats and his highlight reel both confirm that.
Cooks is one of the single most talented linebackers in school history. But overall defensively, he was the best and I’m not sure anyone can take that honor from him. There is a reason he is a college football legend.
It was so hard choosing who to put at number one and who to put at number two. Both of these men gave their blood sweat and tears to this football program. But at the end of the day, number one on this list changed the whole course of Mississippi State football history. Think you know who it is? Well come back tomorrow to find out if you’re right.