Just weeks after making a verbal commitment to the Texas Longhorns while on his Junior Jay visit to the Forty Acres, four-star Saint Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic wide receiver Mookie Cooper has decided to reopen his recruitment.
Orangebloods’ Jason Suchomel was the first to report the news, which Burnt Orange Nation has since confirmed with Cooper.
“Making sure I’m making the right decision and not too early,” Cooper told BON. “This is a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t want anything rushed.”
Cooper made this decision just days after to taking an unofficial visit to Illinois and posting a tweet in an Illini uniform.
In the aftermath of Cooper’s trip to Illinois, several Crystal Ball projections rolled in projecting that Cooper would ultimately take his talents to the Fighting Illini, with most of those picks coming from members of the Texas media. The tide turning in favor of the Fighting Illini is especially surprising given that even prior to Cooper announcing his commitment to Texas, he was long projected to land with the Longhorns, so he Junior Day pledge was the furthest thing from a surprise.
While Cooper does have a key tie to Texas in that the Longhorns signed his teammate, four-star 2019 wide receiver Marcus Washington, he has even more to Illinois. In addition to Cooper’s former high school head coach, Cory Patterson, now serving as an assistant on the staff, former teammates Shammond Cooper and Isaiah Williams are each signed to Illinois.
Prior to reopening his recruitment, Cooper was the headliner of the Horns’ 2020 class, as the four-star talent is ranked as the No. 66 player in the nation and as the No. 12 wide receiver, per the 247Sports Composite.
The Longhorns were recruiting Cooper as a slot receiver, which is a position Texas may be abundant with talent at for the foreseeable future courtesy of recent recruiting efforts. In addition to sophomore Joshua Moore, the Longhorns are expecting top-ranked 2019 athlete and MaxPreps National Player of the Year, Bru McCoy, and Gatorade National Player of the Year, Jake Smith, to push for playing time at the position.
With Cooper now out of the mix, at least for now, Texas’ 2020 class features four four-star talents in quarterback Hudson Card, offensive tackle Jaylen Garth, offensive guard Logan Parr, and center Jake Majors.