Irish Offer Illinois Receiver

It wasn't that long ago, when a young Corey Cooper stood on the sidelines at Proviso East High football practices, spending most of his time watching his favorite player Sergio Brown make play after play at the Maywood, Ill., school.

"He was everything," Cooper said of Brown. "He was fast. He could jump high. He was the most athletic person on the team."

Brown eventually signed a letter-of-intent to play defensive back at Notre Dame. Cooper now dons the Proviso East jersey, where his father is an assistant coach, and he is the most athletic person on the team.

And if the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Cooper wants to, the Notre Dame coaches would probably let him attend one of their practices to watch Brown again, since they recently offered the standout class of 2010 receiver a scholarship last Wednesday.

"Coach (Ianello) came to my school in May and he watched my highlight tape," Cooper began. His other scholarship offer is from Illinois, where he verbally committed back in April. "He liked it and said he wanted me to come to their camp. I told him I'd be down there.

"I called him a few days before and said I was coming. I came down there. I performed well in all the drills, and one-on-ones, and after the camp they had me speak to Charlie Weis and told me to call on Wednesday.

"I called them and they said they'd be offering on September 1st.

Cooper is also hearing from most of the Big Ten programs, including Purdue where his father Corey played defensive back. Tennessee and Colorado have also been showing a lot of interest. Most of America's top programs will likely follow.

"(Coach Ianello) started telling me that he knows I'm committed to Illinois, but he's going to recruit me until signing day, and the offer will be in writing on September 1st," Cooper explained. "He said he wants me to come back and visit, and that I'm invited to every home game."

So far, the only place Cooper knows he is going to visit this summer is Notre Dame. Last week's camp was his first time in South Bend.

"It was the best campus I've seen," Cooper stated, later adding he likes that ND is close to home. He has also been to Illinois, Michigan State and Indiana. "I liked the weight room. The field was being reconstructed, but it seemed big and nice. And the campus was beautiful."

As a sophomore, Cooper had 35 receptions for around 500 yards and four touchdowns. He and his father spent a couple minutes talking with Weis at the camp.

"He said he liked my speed, and that I can get open and he likes guys like that," Cooper said. "And he's really interested in me. It was great talking to him and meeting him."

Cooper, who has a 2.9 GPA, plans on taking all five of his official visits before making a college decision, and considers his pledge to Illinois a soft one at this time.

"I have awhile before I have to make a final decision," he said.

Cooper has yet to talk to Brown about his latest scholarship offer, but plans on getting in touch soon.

"We're close. I've known him since I was a kid."


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