Trieu: Michigan in mix for 'electric' 2020 RB 'Mookie' Cooper
College coaches have been flooding St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic’s halls and practice fields for the better part of three years now. The Titans have several major recruits in the 2019 class, but a common response coaches had when visiting the school to watch Illinois commit Isaiah Williams or blue-chip wide receiver Marcus Washington was, “who in the world is No. 5?”
That would be Teriyon “Mookie” Cooper (5-9, 178 pounds). a class of 2020 running back who is one of the most explosive running backs in the Midwest and, potentially, the entire country. Trinity Catholic’s staff has said college coaches wondered if his highlight tape was sped up, only to come see him in person and have that question answered.
One of the coaches who came through was Michigan running backs coach Jay Harbaugh. Harbaugh has built a good relationship with Cooper and the two had a chance to spend more time around one another at Saturday’s BBQ at the Big House.
"I hung out with Coach Jay Harbaugh most of the day, going over how they use their backs and did a couple of drills," Cooper said. “What stood out the most was how much effort Coach Jay put into making sure me and family were good and made sure we had a great time.”
Cooper has an offer list that is over 20 now with Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Ohio State among them.
“He is an electric athlete with elite burst and top-end speed,” Horns247 analyst Mike Roach said. “He shows easy acceleration, and he turns the corner with smooth ability. Cooper shows insane short-area quickness with the ability to stop and start quickly. He displays excellent agility and wiggle along with a surprising ability to shed tackles.”
That ability to score every time he touches the ball has him as a kid Michigan is putting a lot of time into recruiting. The Wolverines signed a running back out of the St. Louis area in 2018 with Hassan Haskins and they have made more of an impact in recruiting that city recently than in years prior.
“I'd venture to say Cooper is higher on their 2020 running back radar than most guys at this juncture,” The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz said. “They're a known commodity at Trinity Catholic and were one of the first schools to offer him a scholarship. Along with Michael Drennen out of Ohio, it wouldn't surprise me if Cooper was right up there with him at this point. Unlike Drennen, who will likely be a Michigan-Ohio State battle, I would say Cooper's recruitment is a bit more national. Texas is an early factor and could be the favorite at this point. I would guess Michigan is in a theoretical top three or so at this point.”
When asked about his top schools, Cooper is not ready to name any yet. With two years left to go, he is not in a rush. However, the Wolverines have put themselves in position to be in the mix whenever he begins to narrow the field.
"Michigan is definitely a school I’m interested in," he said. "I'm just taking things slow and making sure where I choose to go to school at is the place I feel most comfortable."
Cooper is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as a top 100 recruit in the country in his class.
Wolverines offer 4-star WR
St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet Jesuit wide receiver Jordan Johnson, a top 50 national prospect in the 2020 class per the 247Sports Composite, was offered a scholarship by Michigan on Saturday night.
Johnson (6-2, 185 pounds) has 22 scholarship offers. Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Penn State are on that list.
The Michigan staff had a chance to see him during the Lindenwood Mega Camp in early June. To date, he has not visited the Wolverines.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.