After a regular season of facing mostly mediocre SEC quarterbacks, Alabama’s secondary will be tested by Michigan State’s Connor Cook on Thursday night.
Both players and coaches are impressed with the film they have seen on Cook, a senior who could very well be a first-round draft pick this spring.
Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart told 247Sports.com’s Charlie Potter that Cook is the best quarterback Alabama has faced this season.
“He’s going to be an unbelievable pro,” Smart added to FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel.
Smart compared Cook to former Boston College star Matt Ryan. His players had a more impressive NFL quarterback in mind.
Safety Geno Matias-Smith has been calling Cook “Peyton Manning,” according to a tweet from the Anniston Star’s Marq Burnett.
Cook completed 56.9 percent of his passes for 2,921 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions for Michigan State (13-1) during the regular season. The Cotton Bowl kicks off Thursday night at 8:10 p.m. ET (ESPN).
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