The Chicago Bears got a great first game out of Tarik Cohen, but not many people have heard of the small running back.
In the first half against the Falcons, Cohen had three carries for 66 yards as well as four receptions for 12 yards. He finished the game with 113 total yards from scrimmage, and one receiving touchdown. It was his first NFL game, but he found success in the handful of opportunities he was given.
Since then, he and Jordan Howard have carried the Bears’ offense.
So where did Tarik Cohen come from?
The Bears selected Cohen in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft. Cohen played his college football at North Carolina A&T, where he became the MEAC’s all-time leading rusher with 5,619 yards. He’s the first NFL player from North Carolina A&T since Junius Coston was drafted back in 2005.
Cohen’s got great speed
Cohen sticks out on the field, partially because of his speed. He’s earned the nickname “The Human Joystick” because of it. He ran a 4.42 at the NFL Combine, and showed that speed on Sunday. He compared himself to Darren Sproles at the combine, where he told SB Nation he felt his biggest strengths were his vision and “the fact that I can make a play with the ball without getting like 20 carries a game.”
His first big run against the Falcons showed that he’s got great patience and vision, where he made the Falcons defense look silly trying to chase him.
In the second half, he managed to shake Desmond Trufant for a touchdown.
That’s a great showing for the rook, who was understandably confident after the game:
He’s ridiculously athletic
How many people in the world can you name that will do a backflip while catching two footballs? Our list includes: Tarik Cohen.
I think most of us wish to be half as athletic as that.
He would rather be known as a good man off the field than on it
NFL careers are short, but Cohen told SB Nation at the NFL Combine he would be fine playing an average career and becoming more well-known off the field. He has done work with the Boys & Girls clubs in North Carolina where he is from, and he has a passion for it.
“I feel like I want to play at least three years in the league, that’s the average,” Cohen said. “I want to meet the average, get a good name for myself, and then take off in marketing and then do a lot of philanthropy work. I want to be known as a good man outside of football.”