Corey Cooper represents the new face of Syracuse recruiting. The wideout with a 4.58 40 could be an absolute force for the passing game, and a potentially high-scoring offense down the road. He had almost 20 offers last fall, including SEC schools like South Carolina and Tennessee. But he could also be the ultimate exploding cigar, a warning to be careful what you step into.
As Syracuse.com noted this week, Cooper’s recruitment is now back open since he did not qualify academically. He’ll be playing at Jireh Prep in Matthews, NC to prepare for D1. But even though Cooper was an SU signee, now he gets put back into the pool for the Class of ’14. So he’s heard from South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi State and Maryland since he did not qualify.
He says he’s still committed to SU, but admits he’ll be listening to other offers when they come through the door.
“I have no choice but to talk to them if they come to the school,” Cooper told The Post-Standard/syracuse.com in a text message. “And you know I’m always all ears.”
The 5’11” burner from Raleigh was a highly-sought after recruit coming out of high school, and switched his pledge from Louisville. Since Scott Shafer has taken over, the Orange coaching staff has looked well beyond SU’s normal recruiting reach of the northeast and Florida. Syracuse doesn’t normally get kids out of the Carolinas, especially ones this good. And wideouts seem to have a hankering for playing for George McDonald, a former wide receiver coach.
But when you recruit players who won’t qualify academically, you are risking investing plenty of time, resources (and a scholarship on Signing Day) for a player who may end up as another school’s property.
It’s the right idea to be reaching new places for athletes for the ACC. Quarterback A.J. Long told The Fizz the coaching staff admitted to him it needs to target much better players for the heightened competition. And sometimes that means taking a chance on a kid with questionable grades. But do it too often and it can leave you burned when your highly sought-after signees ends up with other teams, and your left needing to fill that hole again.