Recruiting: Did OSU Beat OU To Cooper?

Josh Cooper has wanted to be an Oklahoma State Cowboy for as long as he can remember. So when OSU head coach Mike Gundy called Monday to offer the Mustang (Okla.) High School standout a scholarship there was little doubt what he would say. Or was there? After all, just last Friday a coach from Oklahoma spent time watching film of Cooper at Mustang High School.

"OU was here last Friday for an hour and a half, and then called yesterday (Monday) wanting to see more film of him," Mustang head coach Ty Prestidge said Tuesday morning. "I told Josh that the OU coaches wanted me to send them more film, and that they may be preparing to offer him too.

"Josh has always wanted to go to OSU. But I told him before we call Coach Gundy back that he needs to be sure that's what he wants to do," Prestidge continued. "I told him that it's your word you're giving him and you can't go back on it. Coach Gundy has given you his word that they're going to have a scholarship for you, and if you give them your word then it's done. I told him if he wanted to wait a couple of days that would be OK. But he said that he wanted to end it right now, and we called Coach Gundy back and he accepted their scholarship offer."

Cooper, a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder who does it all for Broncos, and his family have been longtime Oklahoma State fans. He has an uncle who played for the Cowboys under Jimmy Johnson, and his grandfather is an avid OSU football fan. "His grandfather was in here in the office as soon as he heard about it," Prestidge said. "Josh really enjoyed seeing his grandfather get excited about it."

Cooper had an outstanding game in leading Mustang to a thrilling 61-51 victory over Moore last Friday night as the Broncos improved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in district play. He had seven catches for 224 yards and four touchdowns in leading Mustang to the victory.

Prestidge says he's just as impressed with what Cooper did early in the game. The Mustang defense forced Moore to punt on its first series and Cooper was leveled by a Lion while catching the punt. "He took a shot. This linebacker hits him going full speed and he goes down and stays down for a while," Prestidge said. "I didn't think he'd be back for the rest of the game. To be honest, it scared me really bad. We keep him on the sideline when we send our offense out there, and we punt it back to them. I turn around to look for Josh and he's out there playing cornerback. I turned to our trainer and said, ‘Are we doing the right thing? Is he OK?' The trainer assured me he was fine."

Cooper was more than fine, and he has been all season. He is among the leaders in Class 6A in receiving, scoring, field goals and interceptions. In six games, Cooper has 43 catches for 787 yards and nine touchdowns. He is second among all 6A scorers with 116 points with 11 touchdowns, seven field goals and 29 extra-point kicks. He is first in 6A with six interceptions in six games, including two while covering Lawton's Deon Miller, considered another of the state's top receivers. He had made seven of nine field goals, including a long of 42 yards.

"He's one of those all-heart guys," Prestidge says. "He would have been offered by every school out there if not for him being 6-1 and 170 pounds. Josh is going to get up to 6-2. He's got a brother who is about 6-2, and he's going to end up being about 6-2.

"He's got the heart and he wants to be a Cowboy, and that's what they need up there right now. I think Josh is going to have a big-time career at Oklahoma State, and everyone will wish they had signed him and not worried about him being too small."

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