(CBS) New Bears running back Tarik Cohen knows well the comparison that greets him at this next level.
Standing at 5-foot-6, the shifty Cohen will be likened to Darren Sproles. He embraces that.
“I feel like that’s an accurate comparison,” Cohen said on the Bernstein & Goff Show on Monday, two days after the Bears drafted him in the fourth round out of North Carolina AT&T. “Just like him, I can do a lot of things — special teams, catch the ball out of the backfield and still be a main key factor in the regular offense.”
The 21-year-old Cohen wants to do it all for the Bears, as he doesn’t see himself as just a return specialist. That starts this weekend when the team holds its rookie mini-camp at Halas Hall.
“I’m not trying to be on that bench,” Cohen said. “I got to take that field. I’ve been playing 10 years straight that I’ve been a starter. I’m trying to carry that legacy. I’m coming in to make big plays.
“I’m going to surround myself with my playbook. First of all, I got to focus on that. Nothing else.”
The Bears’ selection of Cohen seemed to be a surprise, given that the team is deep in options at running back and there were still positions of need to fill. But the team loved the possibility of what Cohen could bring to the table.
Cohen received his only scholarship offer from North Carolina A&T and would become the MEAC’s all-time leading rusher. The Bears attended his pro day, then invited him to Halas Hall for a visit.
“We just clicked automatically, me and all the coaches,” Cohen said. “And not even just the offensive coaches; even me and the defensive coaches were getting along very well.
“I knew they were interested in me.”