Darien Harris is sick of all the Connor Cook bashing
Darien Harris has had enough of it. The “it” being the criticism of Connor Cook.
Much has been said by NFL draft experts about the Michigan State quarterback in the final months of his college career.
He was hammered for stiffing two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin when he passed him the B1G Championship MVP trophy. Todd McShay said scouts get a very “Jay Cutler” vibe from his off-the-field attitude. The other day, Mel Kiper Jr. said that Cook wasn’t much different than middle-round quarterbacks like A.J. McCarron and Kirk Cousins.
Harris took some time at the East-West Shrine Game to defend his quarterback against the doubters.
“I don’t buy any of that, one bit. I feel like, as he is my brother and he is family to me, it’s kind of my obligation to try to kill some of that noise,” Harris told NFL.com. “Hopefully I can do that by getting people to understand from the inside of that locker room that we loved him and that he was the best quarterback in the country, no doubt about it.
“It’s been a mystery to us, and it’s really unfortunate. He’s a great guy who comes from a great family. It’s hurtful to me as well because he’s part of our 2011 class that’s been able to do so many special things at Michigan State. I know him, I know his parents well, his sister, I know everything about him. We talk all the time. For how close and tight-knit the team was, to me it’s been kind of blasphemous, the amount of things that have been said about him.”
Cook elected to pass on the postseason senior all-star games to prepare himself for the NFL draft. The three-year starter dealt with a shoulder injury at the end of the season that prevented him from looking like the program’s all-time winningest quarterback.
Still, he was under center when the Spartans squeaked out a victory against Iowa in the B1G Championship. The infamous Griffin snub afterwards certainly didn’t help his reputation.
But Harris said that Cook got “caught in the moment” and that shouldn’t overshadow his historic career with NFL scouts.
“I’ve known Connor for the last five years. He’s humble. Not arrogant or cocky, he’s extremely humble and blessed,” Harris told NFL.com. “I can’t wait for him to get that (combine) opportunity. We know what the first questions are going to be, and he knows that.
“Once they see him face-to-face, once they hear his side of things, I think they will really change the opinion on him, and understand he is a franchise quarterback.”