Kirby Smart isn’t known for hyping up true freshmen, but when it comes to RB James Cook, the third-year Georgia coach can’t help but rave about the rookie ball-carrier.

“He had a pretty good day that day,” Smart told reporters when asked about Cook’s performance at a recent practice. “I would say that day was a little special. When we got back, we watched the tape of that practice, he had a lot of balls. It just happened that way. It wasn’t like it was by design, ‘hey, this is going to be James Cook feature day.’ He had some plays that he hit and he looked really good. He had really good GPS numbers. I felt like he did.”

Cook has only been in Athens for a few practices, but he has made quite an impression on his head coach.

“He’s an exciting player,” Smart said. “He loves football. He’s tough. He’s not afraid to compete with anybody at 185 pounds. I really like watching the guy play. To say that he’s more ready than any of those other backs, that’s a long stretch because he has a long way to go.”

The Georgia backfield is loaded with both returning veterans and highly rated newcomers, but as long as Smart likes watching Cook run with the ball, the freshman should be able to expect a share of the snaps.