- Damon Sayles, RecruitingNation
It seems every week, Alex Cooper (Mesquite, Texas/Mesquite) is asked the same question: Football or basketball?
When Cooper isn’t the starting quarterback for Mesquite, he’s the point guard for the school basketball team -- and he’s a pretty good one. Cooper has basketball offers from Stephen F. Austin and Arkansas-Fort Smith and interest from Wichita State, North Texas, Texas Tech, Lehigh and Missouri State.
The problem is, as good a point guard as he is, Cooper shows more and more that he can manage an offense on the football field. In Friday’s 35-14 win against Rockwall-Heath (Heath, Texas) -- a team with two SEC commits and a Big 12 commit on defense -- Cooper threw for 250 yards, completed 77 percent of his passes (20 of 26) and rushed for three touchdowns.
“I think football recruiters see that I’ve improved, with the numbers I’m putting up,” Cooper said. “I said I would pick basketball first, because they were the ones really looking at me. Now, I’m going to go with whoever is going to give me the best opportunity.”
For the season, Cooper has completed 125 of 164 passes (76.2 percent) for 1,682 yards, 13 touchdowns and only one interception. He also has rushed for 239 yards and five touchdowns.
More importantly, the 6-foot-1, 160-pound athlete has led Mesquite to a 6-0 record -- the program’s best record since 2001, when it last won a state championship.
Football recruiting wise, Cooper said West Virginia and Texas Tech have been in contact with his coaches at Mesquite. Cooper also received early interest from North Texas and Purdue. Cooper rushed for 352 yards and three touchdowns, threw for 2,471 yards and 21 touchdowns and completed 65 percent of his passes as a junior.
As a point guard, Cooper averaged roughly 14 points a game for Mesquite’s basketball team last season.
“I’d like to go football if I get the offer,” Cooper said, “but it all depends on what opportunities I get. If not, then I’m going to go basketball.”
520dSam Khan Jr. and Max Olson