USFL Championship Recreation: Cookus sights set on title for Stars

USFL Championship Recreation: Cookus sights set on title for Stars

from RJ Younger
FOX Sports activities USFL Author

CANTON, Ohio – With lower than 1 / 4 to play within the USFL North Division closing, issues seemed bleak for him Philadelphia Stars.

The New Jersey Generals, who had already crushed the Stars twice this season, together with in final week’s regular-season finale, had simply taken a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter because of a 78-yard punt return by league MVP KaVontae Disgrace on you. .

Stars coach Bart Andrus was working out of time. He had misplaced the league’s prime cornerback in Channing Stribling to an ankle harm and his beginning tailback Matt Colburn — the USFL Sportsman of the 12 months — to a knee harm for the rest of the sport.

For one collection, he was even with out his beginning quarterback, Case Cookus.

Case Cookus studying from Bart Andrus

RJ Younger joins Philadelphia Stars QB Case Cookus, who shares what he is realized from enjoying underneath coach Bart Andrus forward of the USFL Championship recreation.

You’ll be able to view “Present no. 1 ranked with RJ Younger“in to YouTube or subscribe to podcast platforms together with Apple Podcasts.

And now the generals protection was starting to buckle. New Jersey security Paris Ford hit Stars working again Darnell Holland that might have rattled his enamel after he certain dropped the ball.

Officers needed to remind coaches and gamers that their habits after video games bordered on unsportsmanlike conduct. That is when Cookus asserted itself.

“Guys let’s maintain it clear, man,” he advised his teammates within the crowd. “I do not care if somebody punched me within the face. They are not going to be right here subsequent week. We’re.”

He mentioned these phrases because the Stars trailed the Generals, and they might show prophetic when Maurice Alexander’s 87-yard punt return put the Stars within the USFL championship recreation. However much more than that, the phrases have been an ideal instance of Cookus’ perspective to the sport.

“I do not know the place it comes from,” Cookus advised me in “Number one ranked show. ” “It is most likely just a bit little bit of a aggressive benefit that I received once I went between these strains. As a result of once I stroll off the sector, I do not care if I get hit 15 instances [in a game]we are going to shake palms and exit to hang around collectively.

“However when you cross these strains, it is truthful recreation. … That is one factor for me, whether or not you recognize, ping pong, basketball or professional soccer, I’ll strive exhausting.”

And he’ll punch you within the face – [Les Grossman voice] – Actually frigging’ exhausting.

After a freshman yr at Northern Arizona by which Cookus gained the Jerry Rice Award — the FCS Nationwide Rookie of the 12 months Award — and an injury-limited sophomore yr, Cookus was behind heart for the Lumberjacks when he caught the attention of a quarterback of Montana whereas blocking. to one in all his teammates.

The hit was unlawful. Cookus was hit with a penalty and ejected.

“It is humorous now,” he mentioned, “nevertheless it wasn’t humorous then.”

Focusing on had simply been authorised by NCAA rule in 2008, and Cookus is regarded as the primary quarterback within the historical past of the game to be ejected for focusing on.

“At first,” Cookus mentioned, “I assumed it was a prank or one thing. After which they mentioned it was focusing on, and I used to be shocked. They threw me out. [of the game] and the followers have been throwing beers and snowballs and every little thing at me. Montana is a troublesome place to play.”

Case Cookus on his NFL expertise

Case Cookus on his NFL experience

Philadelphia Stars QB Case Cookus talks to RJ Younger about an notorious second from school by which he took a focusing on penalty, his NFL expertise and extra!

He laughs now, nevertheless it’s these instances and tales which have stored him preventing to maintain his dream of enjoying skilled soccer alive. Cookus has frolicked with the NFL’s NFL Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders, in addition to within the Canadian Soccer League.

However as a result of he got here out of faculty in the course of the begin of the pandemic, he by no means had an opportunity to completely decide to an expert NFL setting.

“I feel it got here out the yr I did, the yr of COVID, not having a professional day, not having this and that,” he mentioned. “So it was exhausting for me to discover ways to be an expert on Zoom. Once you go to these mini camps, you are round different inexperienced persons and you’ll sort of be taught collectively.

“And while you do it via Zoom, you needed to get lumps and you’ll’t inform what you are doing flawed as a result of it is on the pc.”

The USFL gave him an opportunity not solely to be taught however, after an unlucky harm to beginning quarterback Bryan Scott, to play.

This gave Cookus the chance to guide a professional workforce to a championship recreation in entrance of his dad and mom and fiancée, Tyler.

Earlier than enjoying within the USFL, Cookus’ final recreation as a starter in a big recreation was at Northern Arizona, a 60-53 loss to Idaho by which he handed for 450 yards and three TDs.

“It all the time makes me a bit emotional,” he mentioned. “I had among the best video games of my profession and I am sitting there, I am like, ‘Man, is that this how I’ll exit?’

“Now, simply to have the ability to play once more and respect the sport. I feel I’ve a brand new appreciation for not enjoying for nearly two years. So simply the chance now, enjoying for a championship. It’s extremely thrilling to have My fiancee and mother and pa are going to be there (on the USFL title recreation). I can not wait. I am actually enthusiastic about it.”

Now, Cookus an excellent championship recreation.

RJ Younger is a nationwide school soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and host of the podcast “Present no. 1 ranked with RJ Younger.” Observe him on Twitter at @RJ_Youngand subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube. He isn’t on a StepMill.

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