Corey Cooper is one of the top athletes in the state of Illinois. He has been a star at Proviso East both as a safety and wide receiver, and he committed to Illinois prior to his junior year of high school.
Despite the commitment, other schools are still recruiting him hard. He has made some trips to check out different schools.
"I've made a few. I went to Stanford, Notre Dame and of course Illinois. That's pretty much it until June after high school lets out."
Corey's father Corey Senior played football at Purdue, so he would like him to check out his alma mater at some point. But he has no problem with his son's commitment to Illinois. Corey Junior checked out the Illinois spring game.
"I liked it. We went down there, and I met up with some of the players I knew. We watched the game, and then afterward we met with Coach Zook."
Those other recruits included Proviso West superstar receiver Kyle Prater and Downers Grove South quarterback Chandler Whitmer. Corey and Kyle have been friends a long time, and they developed a relationship with Chandler while preparing for a Scout 7 on 7 camp held earlier this spring in Columbus, Ohio.
"We're pretty good friends," Cooper explains.
Since he is visiting other schools, Corey is considered a "soft" verbal by some people. But his way of describing the spring progress of the Illinois football team makes him seem rather firm in his commitment.
"It was cool. I think we've got a pretty good offense, especially at quarterback. There are some young players on defense, but they're coming along. I think we'll be all right there. I think we can compete for the Big 10 title. I think we'll be pretty good."
The 6'-0", 205 pounder is dedicated to being the best he can be. He works out regularly with his high school coach Aaron Peppers, who is a workout warrior himself. Some of their workouts last over 2 hours.
"Oh yeah. It's a strenuous workout with Coach Pep. He works hard, and not everybody likes it. It's tiring but effective. He pushes me hard, but I think it's gonna pay off."
Corey is a man of few words, preferring to do his talking on the football field. He is listed primarily as a safety, but he is equally adept at receiver. In fact, at the Scout camp in Columbus he made one spectacular grab after another. Which position does he prefer?
"Wherever they want me to play, I'll play. I have no preference."
Before he can show off his ability at the college level, he has one more season of high school ball. He is looking forward to his senior year.
"We have a lot of talent coming back, so we should be pretty good."