For a lot of reasons, Georgia Tech appears to be the right place for Tyler Cooksey. For one thing, Cooksey, a freshman linebacker, has the football qualifications. He was a second-team all-state selection as a senior, received a slew of offers from ACC, Big Ten and SEC schools and led Greater Atlanta Christian to the Class 2A state finals.
Further, defensive coordinator Ted Roof said that Cooksey has a natural instinct for blitzing.
“He does that really well,” Roof said on signing day. “He has a knack for it.”
For another, he’s a computer and technology enthusiast. He and his brother once built a computer together.
“It’s still working,” he said. “It’s a great computer.”
Cooksey’s size – 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds – and instincts will contribute towards his candidacy to play immediately and speak well for his career prospects.
“I really want to come in and make a difference along with the whole entire class,” Cooksey said. “I feel like our class is going to be a huge help towards Georgia Tech and who they are as a team right now. I feel like we’re going to be bringing a lot of talent.”
At linebacker, there is room for a freshman like Cooksey to make an impact. Brant Mitchell and Victor Alexander are two other freshman linebackers who could see the field. At the end of spring practice, linebackers coach Andy McCollum said he was waiting on a player to “take over.” He didn’t rule out the possibility that it could be a freshman.
“It’s hard to count on a freshman, but this may be an opportunity,” he said. “We’ve got some good ones coming in, so we’ll see.”
Cooksey’s father Tom played nose guard for Tech 1976-80. He has been a longtime friend of Roof's. It was Roof who helped Cooksey see Tech in a different light, as not merely his father’s school.
“He made a point to me that, just because I’m choosing to go to Tech doesn’t mean that it’s me following in his footsteps,” Cooksey said. “I can make my own legacy, can make my own future and make people remember me for me, and not for my dad.”
1. Cooksey said he chose Tech over North Carolina. He said he was tempted to commit after a visit to Chapel Hill, N.C., but “I couldn’t pull the trigger.”
2. Cooksey was recruited primary by Roof. Said Cooksey, “I would say he’s probably the best recruiter I came across in the whole recruiting process. He’s just an all-around great guy.”
3. Cooksey is friends with former Tech offensive tackle Chase Roberts, who took a medical redshirt in the summer of 2014 due to post-concussion symptoms. Both attended GAC. Cooksey described him as a mentor.
4. Cooksey is one of three freshmen from Gwinnett County – David Curry (Buford) and North Gwinnett’s Anree Saint-Amour (North Gwinnett) are the two others.
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