LAKE FOREST, Ill. – North Carolina AT&T’s Tarik Cohen earned the nickname “Human Joystick” for his elusive moves on the field, but the 5-foot-6 running back has another talent.
Cohen – selected by the Chicago Bears in Round 4 – became a YouTube sensation when video surfaced of him catching a football and doing a backflip simultaneously.
"It started because I had seen someone else do it first, so we were bored in the summer after conditioning and we just decided to go out and try it," said Cohen, the MEAC's all-time leading rusher. "The first two times I think I fell, and the third time I pulled it off pretty naturally, and that's when I got the hang of it because I stopped being scared."
Cohen eventually upped the ante.
"I was competing against somebody at a different school and he did it too," Cohen explained. "So I had to one-up him. That's when I did the one-handed catch. The internet got ahold of that and it went crazy. Then I had to one-up myself. Everyone was like, 'what's next?' That's when I did two balls at the same time."
Coincidentally, Bears fans are used to draft-day feats of strength. Former third-round pick Jarron Gilbert famously jumped out of a filled pool prior to being selected by Chicago in 2009. Gilbert last one year before the club cut him.