Joseph Yearby, Trevor Darling, Dalvin Cook
MIAMI CENTRAL TARGETS SECOND STRAIGHT TITLE
ANY TIME A FOOTBALL TEAM LOSES its head coach, players tend to get upset. Some transfer, while others clash with the new boss.
In Miami Central’s case, when Telly Lockette
was hired as the new running backs coach at
the University of South Florida in March, the
reaction from three of the Rockets’ best players
was quite the opposite.
“I was happy for him because he was moving on to a better position,” said left tackle
“It was a shocking feeling, but I was happy
for him too,” said running back Dalvin Cook. “I
knew [coach] Lockette had everything set for
us, planned for us in a good way. Coach [Ro-
land] Smith, everybody said he’s a great guy.
[coach] Lockette grew up with coach Smith. We
knew we were in good hands.”
The feeling turned out to be mutual for Smith.
With Darling ( 6-5, 310), Cook ( 5-11, 195) and
Joseph Yearby ( 5-10, 190) all coming back for
their senior seasons and a shot at a third state
title in four years, the veteran coach knows he’s
in good hands, too.
“Those three, right there, are part of a special
group,” said Smith, who after winning a state
title at Northwestern in 2007 is finally back in
the coaching game. “I’m definitely excited about
coaching this team.”
With the bulk of the offense coming back,
but a lot of starters on defense having gradu-
ated, Cook and Yearby will likely see more and
more playing time both ways. When they’ve
got the ball in their hands, though, they are
about as dangerous a tandem as any in the
country. Sort of like when Oklahoma State
had Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders in
the same backfield.
Cook led Miami-Dade in rushing with 1,452
yards and 21 touchdowns last season. He averaged a whopping 11. 4 yards per carry.
Yearby was right behind him, rushing for
1,448 yards and 20 TDs on 212 carries ( 6. 8
per carry) as the primary workhorse.
“It’s been so much fun playing with both of
them,” said Darling, a University of Miami com-
mitment who is hoping he can sway both backs
to follow him to Coral Gables. “These guys run
really hard. They make your job so easy and
they’re good guys to hang around. They’re cool
people. They push you to work hard. They’re
going to fight with you. You want guys like that
on your team.”
Yearby, who switched his college commit-
ment this spring from Florida State to Miami
after the Hurricanes hired FSU’s former offen-
sive coordinator James Coley, said playing with
Cook at the next level is something he would
love to do.
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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FLORIDA 2013