Johnie Cooks will be remembered as a stellar athlete and a great representative for the state of Mississippi.
A Mississippi State Bulldog legend considered to be one the best defensive players to come through Starkville died Thursday.
Johnie Earl Cooks, 64, was a member of the Bulldog football team from 1977-1981. At Mississippi State, Cooks would amass over 370 career tackles on his way to All-American honors in 1981. The following year, Cooks would be selected second overall in the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts.
In the NFL, the Leland, Mississippi native would rack up 63 tackles, one sack, and one fumble recovery during his rookie season, finishing sixth in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. From there, Cooks would play six solid seasons for the Colts before being let go. He was then picked up by the New York Giants.
With the Giants, Cooks would be a part of the 1991 Super Bowl winning team.
After New York, Cooks would move once more before retiring in 1992 as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
In 2004, Cooks was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
The MSU legend was one of the greatest players of late 1970s and early 1980s college football. He will be remembered as a stellar athlete and a great representative for the state of Mississippi.