"We had a lot of doubters," said Clinton tailback Nick Cooper. "We came out there, proved everybody wrong and had a pretty good year."
On a team heavily dependent upon the run, Cooper was an important piece to Clinton's championship title and 12-3 season. On the year, he rushed for 2,072 yards and 28 touchdowns.
In addition to his countless postseason awards, Cooper's junior season resulted in plenty of college interest.
"[Recruiting is] going pretty good, it's going real fast – it's a real rapid process," said Cooper. "No offers, right now. ECU, Michigan, Clemson, Florida are recruiting me the hardest."
In addition to the four aforementioned schools, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Illinois, and Virginia are recruiting Cooper.
A few weeks back Cooper made his one and only unofficial visit of the spring when he attended the Tar Heels' junior day.
"[The visit] went good," said Cooper. "We sat down talked to the coaches, [and] watched the spring practice. It was a real good day, I liked it a lot."
Cooper is in the process of planning future unofficial visits to Michigan, Illinois, and Florida.
With so many future unofficial visits on his schedule, Cooper is reluctant to name any favorites at this time, but he knows what he's looking for in a school.
"I want the program that's going to be best for me academically and athletically," said Cooper. "Right now, I can't say [who my favorites are] – I don't know."
Checking in at 6-foot and 229 pounds, Cooper was one of the more impressive looking prospects at Scout.com's All-American Combine held in Durham. During the event, he recorded a 4.78-second 40-yard dash, 4.47-second 20-yard shuttle, 7.56-second L-cone drill, and 8-foot-8 broad jump.