Tyler Cooksey became Georgia Tech's 9th commitment in the most appropriate way imaginable. His father, Tom, played nose guard at Georgia Tech in the late 1970s under Pepper Rodgers and won the 1978 Dean George Griffin Award as the team's most improved player. His son, Tyler, committed to follow in his footsteps and play on the Flats, and appropriately did so on Father's Day. However, even with his father's legacy in place, the younger Cooksey is in position to clearly establish his own.
As a Recruit
Cooksey committed to Georgia Tech over offers from a slew of Power-5 teams, including Louisville, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. That said, his other main finalists were North Carolina, Duke, and Stanford (he has a clear focus on academics given that list), and there was concern among Tech fans that he would end up in Chapel Hill in particular. However, Cooksey saw Georgia Tech as an all-around win for him and his family. Cooksey was a three-star prospect per Rivals (5.7) and the 247Sports Composite (.8615).
I couldn't find Cooksey's senior highlights, but his junior highlights still offer a lot of promise and insight into his abilities as a linebacker. One of the biggest things that jumped out to me about Cooksey's skill set is his athleticism. He runs very well sideline-to-sideline, tracking down ball carriers from the back side of a play regularly. I also saw a lot of savvy in how he plays -- he does a really nice job of fighting through traffic and taking good pursuit angles. In zone coverage, he does a nice job of reading the quarterback's eyes and feeling what's around him to adjust. In general, Cooksey is both athletic and smart, and it's exciting to think of where he is now -- remember, this was just his junior year film.
What to Expect
The linebacker position may be the single most uncertain one on either side of the ball as we look towards next year. There are 6 returning players, including starter PJ Davis, seniors Anthony Harrell and Tyler Marcordes, juniors Beau Hankins and Marcus Allen, and the younger Terrell Lewis (So) and Tre Jackson (R-Fr). The thing to watch, though, is whether all 6 are still there at the season's start. With the lack of returning depth at B-Back, might someone like Marcus Allen move there and try for more playing time? Could we see someone like Anthony Harrell graduate in the spring and forego his final season to start his career? Point is, there's a lot of potential for some shuffling, and that would result in a different look for this position group in the fall.
I'd also point out that I think this year's linebacker haul (including Victor Alexander and Brant Mitchell) may be the best position group top-to-bottom in the recruiting class. They're all very talented players, to the point that they could beat out more experienced guys and help to influence that potential attrition within the group. Given the uncertainty and talent of this group, it's really hard to say right now how Cooksey will fit in 6 months from now. He may end up being redshirted, and he may end up playing a role as a main backup player. However, while it's hard to say what Cooksey will do immediately, I feel comfortable in thinking he has potential to be a very special player in his time at Georgia Tech. I see very real potential for him to be a multi-year starter and a big-time leader on the defense in his time on the Flats.
Congratulations on your commitment, Tyler! Welcome to the Georgia Tech family!
Thoughts on Cooksey's film? How do you see the log jam at linebacker working out?