Beaver Cooks to enter the NFL
CORVALLIS — Oregon State junior wide receiver Brandin Cooks is entering the NFL draft.
The Biletnikoff award winner as the nation's top receiver, Cooks set Pac-12 records with 128 catches and a national-best 1,730 yards. He also had a school-record 16 touchdown receptiuons.
"I look back at it, a lot of the things I did, I couldn't have done without my teammates," Cooks said Thursday. "If it wasn't for those guys, I wouldn't be in the position I am today."
Cooks, at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, could be a late first- or second-round pick. He would not reveal details of his evaluation from the draft advisory board.
He said he consulted coach Mike Riley and the rest of the Beavers' coaching staff about the decision.
"They didn't try to sway me either way," he said. "They were a great support through this process, just like they've been the entire time I've been here. They're like another family."
Cooks was the second Biletnikoff winner from Oregon State, joining Mike Hass from 2005. The other finalists were Mike Evans from Texas A&M and Sammy Watkins of Clemson.
The first-team All-American finished his Oregon State career with 226 catches for 3,272 yards and 26 total touchdowns (a school-record 24 via catch). He has 3,863 all-purpose yards.
Cooks said is still interviewing possible agents, and isn't quite sure where he'll train. But he was certain that he wants to finish school, and has already started online courses to earn his degree in human development and family sciences. He expects to finish next winter.
"I promised my mom I'd get my degree," said the Stockton, Calif., native who lost his father to a heart attack at age 6.
Cooks is the fourth Oregon State player to leave school early, joining Steven Jackson, Brandon Browner and Jacquizz Rodgers. Because he has not selected an agent, Cooks can still change his mind until Jan. 18, but he said Thursday he was committed to going pro.
The Oregon State Beavers went 7-6.