Connor Cook inclined to put off NFL draft, stay at Michigan State

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook is having the time of his life in college, and doesn't see much reason to walk away from it early.

The talented junior offered his thoughts Thursday on the possibility of declaring eligibility for the 2015 NFL Draft. The upshot? Unless he receives an exceptionally high draft grade that makes him a surefire first-round pick, the Spartans will have their star passer back next year.

"Who wants to leave college? College is fun," Cook told The Dan Patrick Show. "You have great relationships with people here, especially the coaches, your teammates. I've obviously thought about it with my parents, but we're just taking it one week at a time as the season goes. But the main goal is to use up all of my eligibility at Michigan State."

With a loss to Oregon the only blemish on their record, Cook has the Spartans (7-1) in contention for a Big Ten title and perhaps a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff. He's completed 120 of 198 passes this season for 1,868 yards, 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Cook has NFL size at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and will have two years of starting experience by the end of the season.

But while Cook sounds more than willing to embrace his last year of college, he acknowledged that anyone could be swayed if projected high enough in the NFL draft.

"Obviously, if you're one of the top quarterbacks that are going to be picked, and you know you're guaranteed a first-round pick, I think that's one of the reasons why you would leave," he said. "I haven't paid attention to what the critics are saying, or the scouts. ... Looking at it ever since I've been here, I've always thought about using up all my eligibility, all my years here, and finish my time here at Michigan State and never leave early."

Earlier this season, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared Cook to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer after his performance in the loss to the Ducks.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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