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FSU's Dalvin Cook talks about what he's learned from Devonta Freeman

The current star running back at Florida State speaks out about his former high school teammate, his forerunner at Florida State, and an NFL rising star-- all of whom happen to be the Atlanta Falcons' Devonta Freeman.

Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State has had amazing success recruiting the Miami area in recent years, including nabbing a pair of star running backs from the Hurricanes' backyard. Most notably, the 'Noles were able to pluck game-changing running backs Devonta Freeman, who helped lead the Seminoles to a national title in 2013 and is currently a breakout sensation with the Atlanta Falcons, as well as present Heisman-hopeful Dalvin Cook. Both attended Miami Central High School; in fact, Cook was a freshman on the football team when Freeman was a senior.

Freeman was in Tallahassee this past weekend for FSU's latest victory, a 41-21 win over Louisville. Cook spoke on Tuesday about what he's learned from his former teammate and Seminole predecessor.

And that education began in high school:

"He was taking the load, you know? What I really learned from him? We played in the playoffs; we had three playoff games: he rushed for a thousand yards. And you know, just the drive, to get up and do it every game, you know, to go take care of his body, you know, and get back out there and just run for 300 more yards, it's just the drive that he had in him, and just like, don't be denied, you know? It was all about determination with him."

Like the ascension of Freeman, Cook's rise has not been without struggle. Cook began FSU's victory over Wake Forest by blazing to a 94-yard scoring run on his first touch. He'd get just one more carry before tweaking his hamstring on an eight-yard reception and missing the remainder of the contest.

Similarly, Freeman struggled to earn game reps last year and appeared to be behind rookie Tevin Coleman at the onset of this season before the latter suffered an injury of his own. Freeman got his shot, and to say that he made the most of it is still, somehow, an understatement. Freeman leads the NFL with 10 touchdowns (his closest challengers have just six).

Cook learned a lot from Freeman's perseverance and work ethic: "He'd come to practice, and work hard every day, you know? And I learned that from him. Just to got to work every day, and work hard." It was an impression made not only on Freeman, but on fellow high school teammate Joseph Yearby, who chose to stay home with the Miami Hurricanes: "Me and Joe, we learned from him, you know? We picked them habits up, and we started doing them same things when he left, just picking them up from him."

So how did it go down when Freeman hit Tallahassee for the Seminoles' latest game, vs. the Cardinals? Said Cook of Freeman: "I hung out with him. We chopped it up a little bit, watched a couple of games. And, you know, it's always good, just hanging with him. We used to do it back home."

Cook was then asked about Freeman's sudden stardom this year at the highest level: "It's great, because he's been through a lot, through his life, through his story, you know, it's just great to see him, you know, have that hunger and determination to do what he's doing, you know? He's been successful at it, and, you know, and I just told him, don't change nothing, just keep doing you."

Next, Cook was asked if Freeman was still the guy he knew growing up. He affirmed: "Same guy, hasn't changed at all, you know, got the same mindset-- he just wants to outwork everybody. That's the type of guy he's always been." Loyal Seminoles certainly hope that very little changes about the way either running back is performing at present.