“The Mailman” McDonald Delivers Again: WR Corey Cooper Chooses Syracuse

What a long, inspiring journey it’s been for newest Syracuse wide receiver commit Corey “CJ” Cooper. Back in March, ESPN wrote a piece on Cooper about his grueling childhood. When Cooper was born there were signs he would have major health complications. Doctors told his family they’ve never had to use so many life support cords on an infant.

“A social worker came in and said he wasn’t responding to any noises,” Monica (Cooper’s mother) said. “They said he was going to be deaf. They said he was going to have special needs and things of that nature. That’s when it really hit us.”

Cooper and his family overcame a dramatizing scare. Now the speedy wide receiver has chosen Syracuse to play his college ball. Having received up to 20 scholarship offers, and had SEC schools like South Carolina and Tennessee knocking. But CJ chose the Orange giving SU its second wide receiver commit for the 2013 class. Syracuse has had an extraordinary turnaround over the last week, nabbing a number of sought after recruits in the days before NSD, including QB Mitch Kimble and OL Alexander Hayes. Cooper also joins the other newly committed Corey, Winfield, as the lone receivers in the incoming class.

The three-star Raleigh, N.C. native was one of The Fizz’s Top 5 fresh faces Syracuse was targeting in recent weeks, and our most optimistic prediction only had the odds of landing Cooper around 30%. This is a huge recruiting victory for the Orange, and reinforces the type of difference George McDonald is already making. The 6’1” 190 lbs speedster ranks as the state’s 25th best wide receiver with a 28-inch vertical leap. Cooper originally gave his verbal to Louisville , but de-committed last month to weigh more of his options. Cooper told The Fizz he’s thrilled for the opportunity at SU:

“It feels pretty good. I took my official this past weekend and I enjoyed Syracuse. I met all the players and all of the coaches. It was just a great place to be.”

Corey said the decision was very difficult. Receiving so many offers was a bit overwhelming for the Milbrook High School star. Cooper told The Fizz he got an assist from his old man:

“I got help from my dad. My dad went through the same process. Before the recruitment process started, he was telling me about the whole thing and how stressful it was going to be and how it’s going to be. So it was good he told me about all of that.”

Listen to Corey Cooper’s Fizzcast here. There’s a bit of a connection between Cooper’s father and Syracuse. Cooper was a late-bloomer recruit SU was deeply looking into. As it turns out, Cooper’s dad gave the Orange serious consideration way back when he was looking at scholarship offers:

“I definitely had to give SU a look especially because of my dad. This was my dad’s second choice for college until he signed a letter of intent with UConn. But if he didn’t sign with UConn, this was his second choice. He was telling me all about it. I just wanted to take a visit and see what it was about.”

But the real significant connection Syracuse has with Cooper is his relationship with newly appointed offensive coordinator McDonald. Cooper told The Fizz him and Coach McDonald go way back.

“I knew Coach McDonald since he was at Miami. I knew him for a couple years. We established a great relationship when he was at Miami, at Arkansas, so I knew him for a couple of years. That was pretty awesome he got promoted to be offensive coordinator at Syracuse. I was just happy for him that he got that promotion. He’s a great guy. He just did an interview with me probably about an hour and a half ago just talking with my family and me. He’s a great guy and can’t wait to play for him.”

The relationship between Cooper and McDonald should only continue growing upward over the next few years. McDonald has a player in his system that he has great familiarity with, while Cooper has the possibility of seeing playing time more quickly. The departures of Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales doesn’t hurt either. Cooper is hopeful to get on the field right away:

“First, Alec (Lemon) and Marcus (Sales) were great players. They’re forces going to the next level. I think I can see immediate playing time. All I got to do is play hard, work hard at practice, and we will see what happens.”

CJ of course plans to start building a tight bond with his new head coach as well:

“Coach Shafer is a great guy. I talked to him the whole weekend on my official for hours. He’s just a really intense guy. I love him. I can’t wait to go play for him the next couple years and the whole coaching staff.”

A large portion of Cooper’s offers included ACC schools. Cooper likes the idea of heading back down to south to battle on familiar territory:

“That was the big factor. That was good that they moved to the ACC because I get to play my in-home universities: N.C. State, UNC, Wake Forest, Duke. I get to play those guys, so that was a great pitch.”

It all came down to the brand new staff for Cooper’s X-Factor. He just can’t wait to make his way up to campus to start training camp:

“First of all, I went to go tour the university. It’s a good size campus. It’s a big campus and that’s good. The last thing was the coaches. I felt very comfortable with all the coaches there. I had a very fun-time on the official with them and the players.”

Cooper participated in the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl January 4th with Orange tight end commit Tyler Provo, so he’s already built a bit of a bond with a fellow classmate. Also on his team was undecided running back Laray Smith. Perhaps Cooper’s verbal helps convince Smith to join the party? We’ll have to wait and see, as National Signing Day is just 8 days away. Things are just starting to get crazy.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen


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  1. P. Jones says:

    Welcome to Syracuse Corey ! This coming year will be interesting to watch .

    I do like the ACC , and always have , and more recruits like this will come .

    Good luck and keep those hands healthy !

  2. Dr. Bill says:

    Just read about a tight end from Florida..flipping and committing to the Cuse!! Great…The new staff has 5 commits in less than one month…Still can’t believe all of the Gloom and Doom talk that followed former HCDM’s departure..for a promotion. McDonald can recruit..anfd this staff may be better recruiters than the previous staff…..I feel excitement brewing….After all, isn’t that what change can bring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Matty says:

    Welcome Corey! Bless you and the other commits for giving us die hard SU fans a lot to cheer about. I live near Raleigh and will be at all the ACC south games to cheer you on. Go Cuse!!

  4. Derek says:

    Picking up another TE seems kind of strange. It’s not really a position of need.

  5. Jax32 says:

    I’m waiting to see if Stacy Coley schedules a visit!

  6. Dr. Bill says:

    @Derek: Derek, if you look at the tight end depth Chart, next year, there will only be 4 tight ends in the program(not including this years recruits), and two of them will graduate after the 2013 seasons….That leaves us with only two tight ends(both were redshirted this year) in the program starting in 2014……So, How could you say tight end is not a position of need?

  7. Derek says:

    @Dr. Bill – We have Parris, Wales, Green, Thompson, Beaulieu all at the position next year. The only one moving on is Stevens. Bringing in Provo makes sense to replace Stevens, but not necessarily bringing in two, especially with other positions of need, like safety. I’d like to see us make a push for another safety, like Brisly Estime now that NC State pulled their offer to him.

  8. Derek says:

    I guess you could say losing Addazio justifies it though? …still, we typically only have one TE on the field at the time and in a pinch we could probably put Broyld at TE.

  9. Dr. Bill says:

    And Derek, Beaulieu is a converted DE, who has not shown anything at TE…I don’t know who Green is….You have to look beyond next year….In 2014, We would only have Parris and Thompson as redshirt sophs. After them, Provo would be it….and who knows if Broyld can play TE.I think this staff has assessed what they have in the kitchen…..and are going out and getting what..and who they think they need. We may have 3 QB’s in one class…Why? …I don’t think they like what is in house so much and they want to generate as much competition as possible starting out and let the clips fall where they may. I love what this staff appears to be doing….

  10. bigdip says:

    At 6’4″ 220 with Miami speed… u know he’s a beast! TEs Bratten & Thompson are future MATCH UP nightmares! The 2 Tight End sets look crazy, w/ West/Broyld/Kobena etc. on the outside, the team seems to have lost no MOMENTUM! With a bruising running game (2 rbs/ 2000 + total yds)..could be trouble in the ACC?????

    Go SU…..HCDM is getting out-recruited, in reference to the standard he set for himself & SU. I say give HCMcD another 5 schollies, and get outta the way. This coach has 3stars in his back pocket! A true recruiter with “real” relationships….. in comparison: HCDM’s big fish were ’13 Zach Allen & ’12 Morgan, both 3stars, in 4 seasons? HCSS 1st class, if not his first 5 recruits has bested HCDMs best talent, in a month! Lol… “Sweet Dome Life”

  11. AJ says:

    Derek there’s a lot of stuff out there that Says su is going after a couple of Safeties and they just got 1 CB and they expect one more CB to possible join them so they are going after the secondary.

  12. Terry says:

    I think that make 18 for the class of 2013?? Isn’t that the max? No word on other coaching hires or a strength coach hire to?? Another dougie thought here for his homers(Ron and Russ). Lets see if HCSS dumps a dozen players like dougie did when he first got here!! Interesting!!

  13. Smitty Section 129 says:

    This recruitig class is now way better then anything Marrone could put together. Zach Allen seeing all these very good wr’s commit must be thinking can I have that decision over again. Very happy in su land these days.

  14. AJ says:

    The class could get as large as 23-25 from what ive heard dont know how but that’s what im hearing

  15. Derek says:

    Are they cutting players to make room? …I honestly don’t know how that all works.

  16. Dr. bill says:

    For me, the most telling thing is the fact that we are going after 3 QB’s in this class!!! This new staff wants a big time QB running their offense and they must not feel that he is presently on campus…and must not be completely sold on Wilson, the left over Marrone recruit.We shall all see soon enough!!

  17. Derek says:

    Who’s the 3rd QB we’re after?

  18. CuseOnly says:

    @Derek- The only scholarship TE’s on the roster next year are below – 5 is barely enough.

    Parris
    Thompson
    Wales
    Provo likely
    Batten likely

    Beaulieu – hearing he may not be back

    Green is a walk on and will never see the field. Cutler graduates, Stevens graduates, Addazio transferred.

    Nobody is cutting anybody, players F up and give up all the time.

  19. Dr. bill says:

    Derek…the 3rd QB is Hakeem Jordan, a Miami Carol city product. A 6-3 dual threat QB..runs a 4.6 40. All the reports say he is an emerging raw talent. I think the coaching staff was down in Florida at his school today..and he was up in the Cuse last weekend. He has a relationship with..guess who?…Mcdonald for 3- 4 years……..Again, the staff must not be happy with al the QB’s we have on campus….or why would they be recruiting 3 in their first class?

  20. Derek says:

    Could be, or they just want to make sure there’s plenty of competition at the position.

  21. chad says:

    Dr. Bill,

    The QB’s name from Miami Carol is Akeem Jones, not Hakeem Jordan. His highlight tape shows a pretty good arm and some nice speed. Would love for him to be the 3rd QB of this class

  22. Derek says:

    Thanks for filling in the gaps, guys. I tried searching Akeem Jordan, so I’ll try Akeem Jones now… I think I did see his tape last week though.

  23. Kyle says:

    Akeem Jones does not have an offer from Syracuse. I think he was the backup plan for Mitch Kimble in case he didn’t commit.

  24. HedgeHog says:

    Between Austin Wilson and Mitch Kimble – I see similarities to Collin Klein from TCU. They are both and inch or two shorter, but have similar type of games. Both these kids could develop into legitimate dual threat QB’s like Klein. Wouldn’t that be nice.

  25. Dr. bill says:

    @Kyle: According to Scout, Akeem Jones does have an offer ..and the Post Standard today talks about the 3 QB offers….

  26. Russell MacEachern says:

    Terry,Haha,put away the JackDaniels guy,didnt we straighten out that Dougie crap last week?I cried about his lousy (HCDM)recruiting and visor since the day they hired him!!Shows u talk w/o thinking!!What a coach is is the face of the program and he was lacking in personality!Please quit calling me a Dougie homer and I wont call u a whiner!!(drunk-whiner)

  27. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Ron,What I hate about Terry is he brings us all down to his level “moms sub basement”!!

  28. Aaron says:

    Doug was an excellent coach @SU. Let’s not forget that. Hopefully the new staff can keep it up. The recruiting is promising, but numbers don’t mean anything. It is the product on the field. The previous staff was awesome at picking (**) linemen and making them legit.

  29. Terry says:

    Russ, Russ, Russ you need to be in the program, you need counselling. Wilson is not the answer either. HCSS is changing things around. SUFB is still rated in the high 60′s on recruiting. And that’s dougies fault. Its hard not to wonder why SU is so far down on ratings. Its because of the dougie dump and “HIS” admirers still feel he didn’t hurt the SUFB program at all. It will take 2/3 years to get the dougie stink out of SUFB. Just bear with it!!

  30. Ron says:

    Thanks Russell and I agree with your comments about Terry.

    @Terry; Another dougie thought here for his homers(Ron and Russ). Lets see if HCSS dumps a dozen players like dougie did when he first got here!! Interesting!!

    First Russ and I haven’t always agreed on matters concerning Coach Marrone.

    Second The differences between Coach Shafer and Coach Marrone is night and day. If you can’t recognise them then who’s the fool? I know it isn’t Russell and Ron.

  31. Ron says:

    Thanks Russell and I agree with your comments about Terry.

    @Terry; Another dougie thought here for his homers(Ron and Russ). Lets see if HCSS dumps a dozen players like dougie did when he first got here!! Interesting!!

    First Russ and I haven’t always agreed on matters concerning Coach Marrone.

    Second The differences between Coach Shafer and Coach Marrone is night and day. If you can’t recognise them then who’s the fool? I know it isn’t Russell and Ron.

    Third Coach Shafer isn’t going to tell these players that if you can’t play DI football Syracuse isn’t the place for you be at. I know it’s hard for you to understand certain things but you see I believe in Coach Shafers approach with this team. So Terry get on board it’s going to be a fun ride.

  32. Ron says:

    @Terry; For Gods sake man let it go. We’ve heard enough about about your dislikes of Doug Marrone. Move on.

    And for eveyone else,I apologize for the double post double post. I’m working from my wifes lap top and it isn’t easy.

  33. Terry says:

    Thin skin Ron and Russ!! As long as dougie walks on water by “those” fans, I’ll mention his faults. If HCSS does a dougie and forces players off the team for no reason and the media says nothing about it, I’ll question that to. I did that about dougie to. At times both of your comprehension is terrible!! I said HCSS stated that if you don’t want to be at SU then SU doesn’t want you!! First there is nothing there that said a player can’t play at DIV 1 levels. To HCSS and myself(now read carefully) if a player is good or bad and he does not want to be here-get gone!! OK!! Enough of this slapping around. I make mistakes and wrong judgements and have corrected them here and other sites to. But you won’t stop my opinion as long as you act out your child-like attitudes. SUFB is # 1 to me. I’m tired of all this back and forth to. Enough!! I’ll work on improving. How about you??

  34. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    I believe that Coach Shafer made a statement dcuring his ress conference that went a like this “IF ANY RECRUITS DECOMMIT FROM SYRACUSE AND RECOMMITTES TO ANOTHER SCHOOL THEY BETTER PICK A TEAM THAT WON’T BE PLAYING SYRACUSE IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE WE’LL KICK THEIR A$$E$$ AND PUNISH THEM IF THEY DO”.

    That’s not kicking anyone off the team.

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