Raleigh, N.C. -- If you Google his name you will find stories and YouTube videos that showcase his talent. If you walk behind him in the hallway of Millbrook High School in Raleigh, N.C., you will notice his popularity with the other students.
Corey Cooper is a starting wide receiver on the Millbrook High School football team and has been selected to play in the United States Marine Corps’ Semper Fi All-American Bowl. His jersey presentation was on Dec. 11, 2012, in the auditorium of the high school.
Gunnery Sgt. Fordys Arnold, the reserve procurement chief for 4th Marine Corps District, and Staff Sgt. James Ramsey, a recruiter with Recruiting Station Raleigh, presented Cooper with a plaque and jersey to commemorate his selection to the bowl game.
“It feels good, it’s an honor,” said Cooper. “This is the second year in a row that someone from our school has been invited to an all-American game.”
Cooper moved to Raleigh eight years ago and started playing for Millbrook High School in 2009, his freshman year. That was the only year he played on the junior varsity team before his talent propelled him into starting every varsity game his sophomore year.
“What makes him unique is the way he uses his hands,” said Millbrook High School Football Team Head Coach Clarence Inscore. “Most receivers catch with their arms or chest, but he really uses his hands.”
Inscore said that Cooper is not afraid to get hit or catch ‘in-traffic’ with multiple defenders around him. This year Cooper had 54 receptions, 699 total yards and seven touchdowns.
Cooper’s stellar seasons got the attention of the University of Louisville, where he will be playing football next year. Inscore says that it would have been difficult for Cooper to qualify for the university if it was not for Cheryl Boswell, a special education teacher who took a special interest in Cooper after seeing him play in his sophomore year.
Boswell stressed that Cooper was in no way a special education student and she helped him simply because she is interested in helping high school athletes academically achieve their goals.
“I went to a game to see the running back at the time and Corey stole the show,” she said. “He’s the type of student and athlete that you can have on your campus that would never embarrass you.”
Boswell says she and Corey became friends as she worked with him through part of his sophomore year and all of his junior year.
“I see him and help him every now and then, but he really doesn’t need me,” she said of his senior year. “He’s been one of my favorite people. I’m going to miss him, but I look forward to watching his career.”
On top of being a great athlete, Boswell described Cooper as a humble, kind, honest, quiet, and good-natured young man. Traits, that when combined with his talent on the field, are the reasons he was chosen to be a part of the Semper Fi All-American Bowl.
At his presentation ceremony, Cooper made sure to thank all his family and friends including Boswell and coach Inscore.
The Semper Fi All-American Bowl will be aired on the NFL Network and will be played in the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Jan. 4, 2013, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. PST/9:30 – 11:00 p.m. EST.