Tarik Cohen may have been a fourth-round pick in the 2017 National Football League (NFL) Draft but his personal trophy cabinet tells us a different story about his talent. The man who plays running back for the Chicago Bears in the NFL has a career that thus far is worthy of attention. His superior catching ability has gone viral on the internet, to the admiration of American football fans and lovers of the game all over the world. Tarik has the making of a star, and to those who may not yet be familiar with the Chicago Bears player, here are a few things to learn about him.
His Early Life and Career Beginnings
Tarik Cohen is a native of North Carolina born in Bunn on July 26, 1995. The American football running back, before settling to pursue a football career excelled in track and field events. He won team MVP and all-conference honors in football and state championships in Track and was a state champion in the North Carolina High School Association 4×100 relay. It is interesting to note that the runner who was going to become a football player had most of his high school achievement in track and field, with only a modest third round finish in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Playoffs as the only thing to show for his athleticism in high school.
Despite the modest footballer’s success in high school, it was really his size that made colleges skeptical about having him on their roster, but fortunately for Cohen, his home state school was happy to take on the risk as the only Division I school that offered him a football scholarship.
It was a faith that Cohen repaid by spending his entire college eligibility with North Carolina A&T, despite the accolades and record-breaking performances he delivered in each season. Cohen started his college career in the 2013 season and made a string of performances that earned him a place in the conference’s rookie of the year honors. He finished the season with 1148 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns. He followed up his rookie stats with another good sophomore season, completing 1340 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.
In 2015, his catching skills went viral on the internet. The video of him showed him making catches while simultaneously doing backflips. It trended across various social media platforms and he was subsequently invited for a sit down with SportsCenter on ESPN where he displayed the skill on live television. The viral video was not only his highlight of the 2015 season, but Cohen also won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year award for the second year in a row, along with the SBN Offensive Player of the Year and an All-American recognition from College Sporting News, BoxtoRow and Stats FCS. Cohen won all of this by delivering season with 1543 rushing yards, 264 carries, and 15 touchdowns.
As each year and season passed, Cohen grew into a better and more accomplished player. His final season at North Carolina was a record-shattering season. He broke every school record and took some conference records along with him, becoming the first player in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference history to win the offensive player of the year award three consecutive times. He also took his final season exploits to the National level, winning the Deacon Jones Trophy. He extended his repertoire of All-American recognition, adding NCAA to his impressive list. At the end of his collegiate career, Cohen held the records for most rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns and multiple single-season records, including the record for the most single touchdowns in a season.
Cohen’s college performances drew interest from several professional teams, including the New York Jets, Philadelphia Bears, Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears. He was expected to be a sixth-round pick but he was picked in the fourth round by the Chicago Bears, making him the 119th overall pick of the 2017 NBA Drafts. He made his debut for the Bears on September 10, 2017.
On the day of the draft, Tarik was among the three non-football Bowl Subdivision players to be selected in a single draft since 2002, similarly, he was the 10th running back to be selected in the draft and the first player from his school to be selected earliest in the draft since 2005.
After his drafting, Tarik Cohen signed a four-year contract with the Chicago Bears which was worth over $3 million. The contract had with it a signing bonus of $635,658 with $633,156 as a guaranteed sum. The footballer received $465,000 as his base salary in 2017 and by the end of the contract in 2020, his salary will be $735,000.
Since making his debut for the Bears on September 10, 2017, Cohen has had 540 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns with 612 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns.
Personal and Family Life
Due to limited concrete and public information on Tarik’s upbringing, there have been rumours about his parents and childhood, including a prominent and weird rumour that the African-American athlete is Jewish. However, what seems to be certain is that Tarik was raised by his mother, Tilwanda Newell, who raised both him and his brother. Tarik’s motivations as a footballer are believed to be a need to give his mother a better lie.
Tarik’s height has been a cause of concern through his professional career but it hasn’t stopped him from delivering impressively for his team. The North Carolina man stands at 1.68m or 5 feet 5 inches and weighs 81kg or 178 lb. He has an arm length of 0.76m and a hand size of 0.26m.