Cook returns to practice for Noles, readies for upcoming season

Florida State announced August 24 that sophomore running back Dalvin Cook has been reinstated to the Seminole football team, and would be returning to practice immediately. Cook was acquitted in a Leon County courthouse on a single misdemeanor count of battery following an incident this summer in which the FSU rusher was accused of slugging a woman in the face.

Multiple Florida State players who were at the bar where the alleged indecent took place, including Deondre Francois, Da’Vante Phillips, and Travis Rudolph, all testified that they did not see Cook strike anyone.

“In light of today’s ruling in his misdemeanor battery case, FSU football player Dalvin Cook’s indefinite suspension from the team has been lifted, and he will be eligible to practice and compete representing the University effective immediately,” said a school release.

“I’m just thankful and blessed that the truth came out,” Cook said to ESPN immediately following his acquittal. “I knew what I was doing that night, and I was making peace.”

Cook’s trial was accelerated to accommodate the upcoming football season. His initial arraignment date, per a report on ESPN, was Sept. 2. But the Leon County judge pushed up jury selection for his trial to Friday, August 21, with the trial itself coming to completion the following week.

Cook was back in practice with the Seminoles on August 25, the day after his acquittal.

“He was in good shape, had good conditioning, and it looked like a pretty solid first day,” said FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher to following Cook’s initial practice of the summer. “He was training on his own and doing his workouts. He would get a practice script and go work on his own.”

With Cook back in the fold, Florida State heads into the upcoming season with one of the more talented backfields in the entire ACC. Cook set a Seminole freshman record last season with 1,008 rushing yards, and he figures to get plenty of carries all season as long as he’s healthy. FSU also has at its disposal Mario Pender, a speedy redshirt junior, along with sophomore Jonathan Vickers and true freshman Jacques Patrick.