June 9, 2011

Bucks in top group for Fla. wideout

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One of the major challenges for interim head coach Luke Fickell will be trying to stay in the race for many of Ohio State's top out-of-state targets. As always, the Buckeyes have been aggressive with their offers when it comes to Florida prospects and Miami Northwestern product Amari Cooper is one that the staff would certainly love to land. Cooper has seen his stock rise this spring and recently added a pair of BCS offers.

"I have eight offers," said Cooper. "The newest ones are Vanderbilt and Miami (Fla.)."

In addition to the two new offers, Cooper was previously offered by Ohio State, West Virginia, Wake Forest, FIU, UCF, and Western Michigan. At the moment, five schools sit atop Cooper's list.

"Probably Auburn, Alabama, Ohio State, Miami (FL), and Florida State," he said. "The most important thing to me is a school that's going to win. I want to be a part of a team that has a chance to win a national championship. Those five schools that I named all have a pretty good chance of doing that."

While the news of Jim Tressel's resignation probably hit the hardest with Ohio prospects, it undoubtedly has affected the out-of-state targets as well. Luckily for Ohio State, Cooper's main recruiters to this point have been Stan Drayton and Paul Haynes, both of which are still on the staff.

"I was definitely surprised by it," he said. "It didn't upset me too much though because I know the coaches that are recruiting me from Ohio State are still there."

Starting this month, Cooper plans to be busy on the camp circuit with trips planned to some of the top programs in the Southeast.

"My coach is taking me to a lot of different camps," he explained. "Georgia, Florida State, and I think he said Auburn and Alabama, too."

Cooper is hoping to use the camps as a tool to grow his offer list and become a household name outside of the state of Florida.

"I just want to show these people what I can do," Cooper said. "I think a lot of people down here know what I can do but overall I don't think a lot of people really know about me so I'm just looking forward to showing everybody what I can do."

While Cooper won't be making it to Ohio State this summer, he has talked about possibly making an official visit to Columbus during the fall.

"I told my mom that it's one of the places that I want to visit," he said. "I know it's a great program and that they have a lot to offer so it would be cool to get up here and see the place."


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