Getting Attention He Earned

Deontae Cooper, the 6-0, 190-pound running back from Perris (Calif.) Citrus Hill, ran for 2,953 yards last season, the most in the state of California for 2008, and he now has a good amount of scholarship offers. He told us about his recruiting timeline...

Perris (Calif.) Citrus Hill running back Deontae Cooper (6-0, 190) continues to add schools to his scholarship offer sheet.

The state's leading rusher in 2008, Cooper currently stands at eight offers, half coming from the Pac-10, with the possibility of more offers looming.

"My offers are from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Washington, Stanford, Fresno State, Nebraska and Utah," said Cooper. "I've talked a lot with California and while I'm not sure where they're headed in offering me I like them. And UCLA, I talk to them like every other day, with Coach Wayne Moses, and I went to one of their spring practices."

Cooper declined to name a leader but said that those who've come forward with an offer have the advantage.

"All of my offers stand out to me, every one of them," said Cooper. "Now, in my mind, a couple of teams really stand out. But I'm really open to any team that runs the ball and pounds people with the run. I want to be in a place where I have great teammates and there is a great coaching staff."

Cooper has a time frame to whittle down his list to a smaller, select group. "After my season, I'll narrow it down to a top five and then a top three," said Cooper. "I'll take all five of my trips before I decide."

Cooper camped at the Nike Camp in Los Angeles and is planning to camp at the Combine later this month. He's also considering the USC and UCLA camps, among others, this summer.

But for now, his focus has been in track. "I'm in track season at the same time as my recruiting and schools coming by, but I'm focusing on the CIF meet coming up in Costa Mesa," said Cooper, who's running the 100m and 200m.

Then, come fall, his primary focus will be on leading Citrus Hill to a third straight unbeaten season and another CIF-SS title.

"I'm really focused on a three-peat," said Cooper. "My offensive line gave me the success I had and we have these great coaches and play calling, so we as a team, we really clicked. While it would be great to get 3,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, I'm more concerned with wining another championship and getting into the state game."

Those numbers aren't out of the realm of possibility, though, for Cooper. Last fall, he stood atop the state leaderboard in rushing yards with 2,953 yards and finished second in touchdowns with 47.

Cooper is getting it done in the classroom, too, carrying a 3.6 overall GPA and scoring an 1150 on a 1600 scale on the SAT.

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