Clinton (NC) High School barely made the playoffs but behind an amazing one-man rushing attack led by senior running back Nic Cooper, the Darkhorses made it all the way to the 2A state championship game before losing out to Burlington Cummings.
Cooper finished the year as the number two rusher in the state- tallying an amazing 2,682 yards and 34 touchdowns with 1,023 of those yards and 12 touchdowns coming in the playoffs alone. For his efforts, Cooper was named to the associated press all-state first team. As a junior, Cooper helped lead Clinton to a state title as he totaled 2,032 yards on the ground and 28 touchdowns.
At 5-11, 230 pounds with 4.6-second speed in the 40-yard dash, some have questioned whether Cooper has the size and speed to playing running back on the division one level. To date, NC State is the only division one school to show major interest although Cooper has attracted interest from some of the smaller in-state schools like Winston-Salem State, UNC-Pembroke, Citadel and Wingate. However, it's an offer from the Wolfpack that Cooper is hoping for.
"I talked to (former running backs coach) coach Portee a while back," said Cooper. "Then I got a letter a few days ago saying that they wanted to have a meeting with me. I'm not sure if they were coming by the school or coming to see me at home.
"I think State's going to have one of the best programs in the country and I know coach O'Brien did a good job at Boston College. I've seen their facilities and they've got one of the best weight rooms in the nation. I guess right now it is just a matter of them showing me attention and letting me know whether they're interested."
Cooper could potentially play running back, fullback or linebacker in college.