Watch: James Cook and Ben Cleveland Interviews

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Watch: James Cook and Ben Cleveland Interviews

On his excitement for this season and if he sees Coach Monken’s type of offense as a new beginning for his performance…

“I am excited to be out there with Coach Monken and the team. Just getting out there and just learning different things and the new offense that we got going on.”

On if he thinks Georgia is still a running team with Coach Monken’s style of offense…

“We are always going to be an RBU team. We’re going to pound the ball. Nothing is going to change—we are RBU.”

On how he thinks Coach Monken’s style suits his style of play and skillset as a player…

“We are just trying to build everything around trying to get better as a team—just getting to know the offense very well, in and out. Like, knowing other people’s jobs and knowing what to do when other people are lining up, and helping tell them what to do. Things like that, I mean we are just [wanting] to get better every day with this new offense we have going on.”

On his offseason, where he is weight-wise and his excitement for the offense this season…

“I put on a lot weight, and just worked hard over the [off]season—like getting my body in tiptop shape and ready to go. For the offense, we just [have to] keep connecting just learning and learning every day.”

On how his development during his time at Georgia has prepared him to break out and make a bigger impact…

“No doubt. I just want to do everything to get my team a win and help my team be successful. I’m willing to do everything—play O-line if I have to, and just do everything to help my team win.

On his relationship with Zamir White and how it has developed over the years…

“We are just looking to be the best version of us and not anyone else—just to keep continuing to push each other every day and working hard. That’s about it—just keep pushing and keep working together.”

On what his expectations are for the offensive line…

“I’m definitely very pleasantly surprised where we’ve ended up so far. It was kind of difficult not having a spring ball, and stuff like that. It put a lot of stress on all of us to learn this new offense, and pick up on everything in a lot shorter amount of time than what we would normally have. I think our guys have handled it extremely well. We’ve been progressing every single day. I think we’re way ahead of where most people think we should be.”

On what he makes of his time at Georgia…

“You know, that’s a good question. Parts of me sometimes wish I had taken school a little more serious and stuff like that. Obviously, it has taken me so long to get a degree. I should have had that a couple of years ago. But, the relationships and stuff that have been built—they will never be able to be replaced just with these guys from here. I appreciate all of these coaches and everything that they’ve done for [me] the last five years. It’s really just a lot of good relationships have been made over these last few years, and I’m sure they’ll continue to carry on after this next year is over.”

On incorporating a pass heavy offensive coordinator into a run heavy offense…

“I think it’s always a happy balance. You’ve got to be able to run the ball to throw the ball, and you have to be able to throw the ball to run the ball. That’s kind of been our philosophy since I’ve been here—do what we can in the run game, throw when we need to. Run it when we need to and all of that. I feel like that has served us pretty well over the last few years so I definitely think there is a happy medium and a good balance among that. I think we’re doing everything we can to balance that out and get us the best options.”

On what it has been like developing relationships with some of the younger guys…

“It’s been kind of tough hanging out with COVID[-19] going on, getting to develop that good relationship outside of football. It’s tough to get 30 guys together at somebody’s house or something like that. It’s been kind of tough. Really and truly, it has been just working away around every body, being on the field whenever we have that chance to be around one another in the same area. Try and develop relationships like that, and I know it’s not the best situation to be in or anything of that nature, but we kind of have to do what we can. At the end of the day, these guys are family. We’ve got to do what we can to make them feel like family even though they have only been here a few months.”

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