Cooked to Perfection (Men’s Soccer)

Brian Sumers

Way back in his freshman year, Jeremy Cook got an A- in his freshman seminar about fly fishing.

Now, it’s one of the only blemishes on the senior’s academic record. His 3.96 GPA could be just a tad higher if not for that first-year blip.

“It’s sort of ironic because I’m an avid fly fisherman,” said Cook, a Wisconsin native.

But Cook’s academic fault can be forgiven, as he was trying out for Northwestern’s soccer team that quarter. He made it, joining the injury-ravaged team as a walk-on near the end of the season.

The next year, Cook emerged as a role player, and since then, he has become one of the Cats’ top defensive players, usually called upon to mark the opposing team’s best player.

Cook, a chemistry major, won’t have too worry too much marking men in his next career. He’s planning to attend medical school and has already been accepted by Wisconsin and Northwestern. Now, he’s hoping Harvard will be swayed by his MCAT score of 38 — five points from perfection.

“I’m quite a nerd when it comes to studying,” said Cook. “I can’t really deny that because I do study quite a bit.”

While he’s always been able to balance school and soccer, sometimes the 21-year-old has had to put his social life on hold. That was especially true his sophomore year.

“When ever we saw Jeremy it was at soccer,” said his roommate Paul Elkins. “Otherwise he was studying or with his girlfriend. He was a machine.”

Cook doesn’t like to brag about his academic success, but Lenahan makes sure the team knows.

“Any conversations with Jeremy Cook are minimal,” Lenahan said. “That probably includes his girlfriend, his parents and everything in between. He’s a man of few words.”

Although Cook hasn’t always had time to hang out, he’s well-respected. His teammates appreciate his work ethic (he’s been Most Improved Player twice) and his weight-lifting ability (he can squat 350 pounds).

“I’m not sure where that comes from,” said Cook, who weighs just 145 pounds. “I’m not much to look at.”

While Cook has succeeded academically at NU, in four years with the Cats he has never won a conference game, going 0-18-2 in his career. He’ll have his last chance Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament when NU takes on No. 2 seed Michigan. His teammates are hoping their captain goes out a winner.

“I know there’s no such thing as a perfect person,” Elkins said. “But he’s about as close as there is to it.”