HBCU Football

For Tarik Cohen, his NFL dream has begun

‘I’m going to get there. I’m telling you, I’m going to play.’

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T University’s all-star running back, is now one step closer to his dream of playing in the NFL.

Surrounded by family, Aggie teammates and friends on April 29, Cohen was the 119th pick in the 2017 NFL draft, taken by the Chicago Bears.

Dubbed the “Human Joystick” for his video-gamelike escape-ability, Cohen — all 5 feet, 6 inches and 179 pounds of him — used his 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the draft combine to impress several NFL teams.

“I promise you, this is not the biggest celebration,” he said at the draft party April 29 on the NC A&T campus. “I’m going to get there; I’m not just going to be there. Y’all know me. I’m going to get there; I’m telling you, I’m going to play.”

Cohen, whose style is considered similar to NFL veteran Darren Sproles’, is headed to Chicago, where another great from a historically black university, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton of Jackson State, played. Sproles was a Round 4 selection as well.

Cohen’s college coach, Rod Broadway, said it took only a couple of visits to Cohen’s high school to realize the type of person he was.

“I told an alumni group: Sit back and enjoy this, because you’re watching greatness,” Broadway said.