Apparently, at one point in the Hazelwood East practice a deer walked out of the woods nearby and was checking out the football team.
One of the players asked the head coach if he could go catch the deer? The coach responded by saying that there is nobody on the team who could catch that deer.
James Cooper, the highly regarded OLB, asked the coach what he would give him if he could catch the deer. The coach replied that he would buy him a case of soda pop.
Cooper took off like a flash after the deer. According to our contact, Cooper covered the first forty yards on the deer before the animal realized what was happening. By the time Cooper closed to within 10 yards of the deer it was in full sprint back into the woods.
Cooper, who has a reputation for being a bit lax in his practice effort, showed that he can display excellent athletic abilities when properly motivated. Wherever he ends up playing at the Division One level, Cooper will need to have adequate external motivation to achieve at a high level.
According to our source, who is a former high school coach, he would rank the Hazelwood East players in the following order:
1. Aaron Whittington, appears to be more like older brother Bernard who has had a nice career in the NFL.
2. Lorenzo Nichols the 6-5, 280 offensive lineman. Nichols is quick, has great feet and has a nice frame. Is probably one of the top eight players in the state right now.
3. James Cooper. Cooper is not the prospect that his older brother was who eventually went to Michigan State. However, Cooper is a good athlete. The only question on Cooper is his motor and his work ethic.
4. Lareno Seymour. Seymour is a good, but not a great D1 prospect. Our source believes he is somewhat overrated right now by the various recruiting services and that he doesn't have the upside of either of the others on this list.