Does OSU Have Homefield Advantage With Cooper?

Larry Cooper knows exactly where his son, Riley, is going but he is still searching for the destination. Sounds confusing, huh? It isn't to the Coopers, who have seen Riley rise to the top of the charts as both a college football and college and pro baseball prospect.

"We are looking for the complete package," said Larry Cooper, who is part of a family that has Oklahoma State orange seeping through it. "We are looking for a strong football program, strong baseball program, and strong academic support.

The academics are very important and we know Oklahoma State is strong in that area. It is tough to be a two-sport athlete and get the academics taken care of. Good academic support is a big advantage. We are looking at campus life, living accomodations and overall community."

As we mentioned Mr. Cooper knows Stillwater and Oklahoma State well. He graduated from Oklahoma State in 1980. His 75-year-old father graduated from Oklahoma State – as did his brother, uncle, nephews and nieces.

"Riley may not know OSU and Stillwater but I do," said the friendly and proud dad. "All told I think we've had 13 generations of Coopers attend Oklahoma State going back to the days of Oklahoma A&M."

The Coopers will be in Stillwater on Saturday and Sunday for an official visit following Riley's Friday night game as his Clearwater Catholic team plays Tampa Berkeley. Cooper's team had a bye last week which he used to make an official visit to Florida. The week before against Auburndale the 6-4, 200-pound speedster had four receptions for 210 yards and 15 tackles on defense. The first catch he made in that game went for a 99-yard touchdown. As a junior, Cooper earned first team All-State honors with nearly 900 yards receiving on 32 receptions and a 28 yards per catch average. On defense he totalled 118 tackles with five interceptions.

The younger Cooper is also a good student and Baseball America just rated him the second best position player prospect in the high school ranks nationally and the 10th best overall high school prospect. He's a likely a first-round pro baseball pick that could command a monster signing bonus. So will he go baseball?

"I don't know," said Mr. Cooper. "It is up to Riley, but I know he wants to play college football and baseball."

Mr. Cooper said he knows that a friend of the family, Clint Coe, a transfer safety at Oklahoma State is going to be the player host for Riley on his visit. They are also hoping to catch up with an old friend in OSU freshman baseball catcher Ryan Pittman. The two families know each other and Riley and Ryan haven't seen each other since they were 6 or 7 years old.

The recruiting of Cooper, which has seen USC, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Auburn, and many other schools offer scholarships, is not over. Mr. Cooper said the visit to Florida went well. They met with Gators head coach Urban Meyer and the head baseball coach and they were impressed with Florida – the only in-state school they would visit officially.

"We have tentative visits set up to Tennessee and Texas," added Mr. Cooper. "We are keeping the last visit open. We were considering visiting USC, but right now have decided not to."

Be it at wide receiver or safety on the gridiron or centerfield on the diamond, Riley Cooper is a huge prospect – as top flight nationally as it gets.While the competition will be fierce it doesn't hurt that the Cowboys have somewhat of a homefield advantage.

Riley Cooper Game Action

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