- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
Safety Malcolm Cook (Fork Union, Va./Fork Union) said he remains "100 percent committed to Virginia," but he still felt like part of the Penn State family over the weekend.
Cook joined his high school teammate Christian Hackenberg as a recruiting guest Saturday and the two checked out a tailgate before before joining PSU's other commits at Beaver Stadium. He shared popcorn with Adam Breneman and Kasey Gaines, and even took a sip of Breneman's soda.
"It's how they were to me, just like family," Cook said with a laugh. "Adam was like, 'Taste this, man' and I'm like, 'I don't want to taste it.' ... A guy on the field told us we all act like brothers."
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound defensive back said he's heard from numerous coaches, many from programs more prestigious than the Cavaliers, but he hasn't flipped because he's comfortable with Charlottesville.
The Virginia staff has closely watched him since his sophomore season, and he'll still receive motivating emails from defensive coordinator Jim Reid. That relationship, he said, is difficult to replace.
"You know, I really liked it up there," Cook said, referring to Happy Valley. "I like Coach [Bill] O'Brien and Coach [Charles] London, but I'm loving UVa right now."
Cook believed his role with Virginia next season would likely be as a backup, but he expected to slide into a starting role as a sophomore. He's shown a knack for the big play this season -- pulling down 14 interceptions, forcing five fumbles and recording 49 tackles -- so bigger schools have caught on late.
Cook does not hold a Penn State offer, but the white-clad crowd still seemed familiar with the player who loves to trash-talk with Hackenberg.
"I'm firm in my commitment to Virginia," he said. "I was just there visiting. But when I got up there, it was crazy. I was like, how do these people know I'm going to Virginia? They were just like, 'Malcolm! Malcolm!' like they know me.
"I liked it up there a lot. I liked the school and everything, but I'm pretty solid to Virginia."