Westminster alum defies odds to play for UGA

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From underdog to Georgia Bulldog, a Westminster alumnus does whatever it takes to accomplish his childhood dream of playing on UGA's football team.

"I played growing up, and I knew in high school I only wanted to play for UGA. But my strength, size and speed were my biggest weaknesses," Candler Cook said.

During Cook's freshman and sophomore years, he decided to try out to be a walk-on on the team but didn't make it.

"I was given a review sheet, and they told me I was too small, too slow, too average, a D3 athlete at best, should consider giving it up," Cook said.

But instead of throwing in the towel on his childhood dream, Cook got motivated and started doing whatever he could to prepare for next year's tryout.

"I had to ask myself how important this goal was to me," Cook said. "I realized it was very important and I had to give it everything I had."

Cook started working out even harder. He did speed training and ate tons and tons of food.

"I also decided to switch positions from linebacker to defensive end, a position I had never played before," Cook said. "I had to watch YouTube videos to learn how to play it."

After years of hard work and dedication, Cook tried out for a third time and made it.

"He said they do have room for me, and for the first time I finally felt like I was part of the team," Cook said.

It wouldn't be until his senior year against New Mexico State in 2011 that his dream of playing in a game would come true.

"1,543 days is how long it took for me to get there," Cook said. "My family, friends, everyone was there. I knew I would remember this moment forever."

Now years later, Cook has written a book, "Underdog to Bulldog," an Amazon best-seller.

"I hope by sharing my story, it will inspire people to never give up on their dreams despite what obstacles they may be facing," he said.