Bears Select Cohen In The Fourth Round
GREENSBORO (April 29, 2017) – For all the greatness of fomer NFL running backs from North Carolina A&T such as Maurice Hicks, Maurice Smith and Michael Basnight, Tarik Cohen distinguished himself from them by being drafted on Saturday.
The Chicago Bears selected Cohen (5-6, 179, Bunn, N.C.) with the 119th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft Saturday. Cohen became the first Aggie drafted in 12 years. Cohen's fourth-round selection is the earliest a N.C. A&T running back has ever been taken in the NFL Draft. He is the first Aggie running back taken in 33 years and just the fourth overall. The last Aggie to go higher than Cohen in the draft was linebacker Michael Hamilton in the third round of the 1997 draft when he was picked by the San Diego Chargers.
“Tarik Cohen is a young man who has never had a bad day,” said N.C. A&T coach Rod Broadway. “He is the kind of guy who can put an entire room in a good mood with his energy and friendliness. We're going to miss that around here. Whenever we were having a bad practice or things weren't going well in a game, it was Tarik Cohen that got us going. If he takes that hard-working spirit and energy with him to Chicago, he is going to be okay.”
Despite his size, Cohen dazzled scouts with his athleticism, strength and speed. At the recent NFL Combine, he had the third-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.42) among running backs. Cohen's credentials also earned him the interest of NFL teams. He ended his career with a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference-record 5,619 rushing yards. Cohen's other accolades include breaking 17 N.C. A&T records, earning numerous All-American honors, becoming the first MEAC player to be awarded three MEAC Offensive Player of the Year honors and being selected first-team All-MEAC four times.
Earlier this year, he was the first-ever recipient of the Deacon Jones Award given by the Black College Football Hall of Fame. The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., also named him their Black College Football Player of the Year. In May of 2015, Cohen became a social media star when he caught a football while doing a backflip. He later caught two passes while doing a backflip. He has also made appearances on ESPN's SportsCenter, been the subject of numerous articles from ESPN's The Undefeated and was the featured athlete on ESPN's popular Sports Science segment.