In recruiting, there is so much talk about the elite recruits that many times we all miss out on some pretty good football players. And that is the case with Cooper Bassett, who has lettered for three years and started for two at Tuttle as a tight end/defensive end.
As a junior junior season, Bassett caught 12 passes for 180 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he finished with 50 tackles and five sacks. Those totals and his solid all-around play have made him one of the better prep players in the state of Oklahoma.
"I have never considered myself as one of the best players in Oklahoma," said Bassett. "I have always thought I was pretty good and I have always had good size, which put me ahead of a lot of players. I have never considered myself one of the best, but it was real exciting getting a chance to go to the Red/White game and to get invited to all that stuff. It is also exciting to get recognized by other Big 12 teams. As a little kid in the state of Oklahoma, you dream of playing for OU or OSU or some team that you always watch on Saturday. Now, that dream is beginning to come true and that is a great feeling."
Teams are recruiting Bassett on both sides of the ball, but he believes his future in college will be as a tight end.
"Most teams are recruiting me to play tight end," said Bassett. "I think most teams are recruiting me to play tight end because defensive ends at the college level are a little bit faster than I am. I am thinking maybe that tight end is where I will play. I have been playing tight end longer than defensive end.
"I talked to Coach Venables and he told me to never forget the defensive side of the ball, so you never know somebody may offer me a scholarship at defensive end."
Bassett benches 265 pounds, squats 405 and he is on the varsity basketball team. He admits that he isn't very skilled at hoops, but he is the big bruiser on the team.
Bassett is beginning to draw more attention from D-1 programs across the country, but he is still waiting for that first written offer.
"I haven't had any offers, but the schools who have really been sending me a lot of stuff and really recruiting me hard have been Kansas State, LSU and Kansas," said Bassett. "Lately, OU has been sending me a lot of stuff. That right there is really exciting. Getting a chance to go to the Red/White game was great. OU has a great atmosphere and great fans, and just being able to go up there and get on the field was tremendous. Just being down on the field and seeing everybody is kind of cool. Then walking into OU Memorial Stadium and everyone is looking at you knowing that you could possibly be on the team next year. It is just a really cool feeling."
So what did he think about his day in Norman?
"The facilities obviously are top notch," Bassett continued. "The coaches at OU have been really good as they have been talking to me. They wanted me to be at the game. Everything has been real nice. I played there in the state championship game my sophomore year. It was unreal getting out on the field and looking up in stands and seeing how huge they were. It was an awesome experience to play on the field and to be at the Red/White game this weekend."
Bassett also paid attention to what the tight ends and defensive ends were doing.
"I don't think they throw to the tight end enough," said a chuckling Bassett. "Joe Jon Finley's build is exactly what I want to be. He is 6'5 or 6'6 and 250 or 255 pounds. Then Jermaine Gresham is just an absolute freak. Both of those guys are really good and I know all the other guys have key roles and do real well. I didn't really study the defensive ends as much, but OU always has an amazing defense so I am sure they did great."
What does Bassett's list look like at this point?
"So far I like Kansas State, LSU and Kansas," said Bassett. "Really, that is mainly Kansas State. OU has just come on the radar and that would be a dream come true to play for Oklahoma. It would be close to home and just to play at Oklahoma would be amazing. It would be an amazing accomplishment to play there, so if they offer I would seriously consider accepting it."
Bassett has qualified.