The Luster comes from the Inside

There aren't many teams who can go into Louisiana and get players out of the state. They usually have to wait for LSU to get done. But as this prospect stated, his decision will be based on much more than a team being a hometown favorite. The question is: does Nebraska have a shot?

It'd be hard to call wide receiver Khiry Cooper unsung. He's sitting on close to double-digit offers, and as a wideout, he boasts some pretty impressive statistics:

As a senior for Calvary Baptist Academy, Cooper totaled 1,038 yards on 60 catches, scoring 16 times as he helped his team to an undefeated regular season, getting all the way to the semifinals in the playoffs.

At 6-2, 180 pounds, Cooper is just a bit shy of the prototypical big-bodied wide receiver which has become so popular as of late, but few realize that he's still a good half-inch taller than the average starting wide receiver in the NFL.

As it is, especially at the prep level, he's done just fine. "My coach, because he has so much experience in the NFL, knows how to use me inside, outside and running just about every route we can think of," Cooper said of Doug Peterson, an NFL vet, who played QB in the NFL for 12 years, eight as a back up in Green Bay to Brett Favre. "He knows how to use me against whoever we play."

With the combination of that size, along with his 4.5-speed and 34-inch vertical, Cooper is simply a weapon, and there are plenty of schools who could use someone with his athleticism and versatility.

However, that's usually not the question for kids in the state of Louisiana.

It's not about what they need, rather it's what LSU needs, because there aren't many who go into the Tiger state and take a kid LSU wants. Cooper is one who does have an offer, but he said it won't be home-state loyalty which will dictate where he goes. It will be something far more important.

"God will point me in the right direction. Where he calls me, that's where I will go," Khiry said.

That's obviously good enough for Cooper, but for recruiting fans across the country, it will be hard to pin down any favorites for his services. That would be up to Cooper himself to decide. In addition, as recently as late-November, Cooper stated that LSU, Florida and Oklahoma were amongst the teams he was looking at the hardest.

Furthermore, Cooper will say that he likes those schools, but his decision isn't that close and he's still got at least one more school to check out. "I met coach (John) Papuchis from Nebraska, but I know he was just coaching at LSU. And coach (Ted) Gilmore was down to see me a couple of weeks ago," Khiry said of Papuchis, Nebraska's new defensive end's coach and Gilmore, who has coached Nebraska wide receivers for three years. "I don't know a lot about Nebraska, but I am trying to learn more, and I know I will be visiting there. I just don't know exactly when."

With the offers he has already on the table, Nebraska is going to be climbing an enormous hill But Cooper will have something in common with one of the Husker coaches who will no doubt be talking to him throughout this process.

Husker tight ends coach Ron Brown has an even more distinguished reputation in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes than he does as a coach, stemming from his 17 years with the Huskers.

Brown has spent the past four years serving as the Nebraska State Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also has served as the national spokesman for the FCA and is a regular columnist for the FCA magazine "Sharing the Victory". Brown and former Husker Stan Parker are co-founders and co-directors of a statewide Christian ministry called Mission Nebraska.

In his local chapter, Cooper likes to believe he has a significant role as well. "I'm one of the leaders of a "Huddle" here in my community," Khiry said of the official name given to local groups of the FCA. "It's a very important part of my life, and it is what will be the most important factor in where I go to college.

"I am speaking from my own perspective, but I see a lot of athletes who choose schools for reasons that have to do with the sport, the depth chart or something like that. I am choosing one with my spirituality. God will lead me to where I need to go."

It should be noted that Florida boasts some prominent members of the FCA as well, including this year's Heisman winner Tim Tebow, along with former Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel.

But as Cooper would tell you, spirituality and your decision-making isn't about who has done this for how long or how many members of the FCA a school has. It's simply about how he feels his spirituality and that place, wherever it may be, will mesh together the best. "It's a feeling. It's not really something you can tell someone, because when you feel it in your heart, you just know," Cooper said. "I put my faith in God, and I know he will lead me down the right path.

"I can't tell you who that is right now. I don't know myself. When he tells me, I will tell everyone else. It's not just for me to decide."

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