Millbrook wide receiver Corey Cooper said much of the college recruiting attention he received initially came from coaches who were scouting former teammate Keith Marshall, the top-ranked running back prospect in the country during the 2011 season.
“All these coaches were looking at Keith, and some of them saw me,” Cooper said. “It gave me the opportunity to be seen by a lot of coaches. They were looking at Keith and saw me.”
Marshall graduated in December and has enrolled at Georgia. Cooper, a 6-foot, 190-pound junior, has fielded about a dozen scholarship offers. Among his suitors are North Carolina and Wake Forest, the SEC’s Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and South Carolina, as well as Illinois, Iowa State, Tulsa and Oklahoma State.
He said he enjoyed his visits to UNC and South Carolina and plans to visit Maryland, Wake Forest and Tennessee this week. He wants to make his college decision before the start of the 2012 season.
Cooper had 24 catches for 280 yards last fall in an offense that relied primarily on Marshall’s rushing.
Top of their games: Ravenscroft’s girls’ runner Wesley Frazier and Cary Academy’s boys’ runner Thomas Graham may be the two best N.C. high school distance runners to compete in the same meet ever. Both are national leaders on National Scholastic Sports Foundation executive director Jim Spier’s national top-five lists of high school runners.
Frazier is atop the girls’ rankings in the two-mile race with a 10 minutes, 25.84 second. Graham leads in the two mile, with a time of 9:10.2, and in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:11.66.
The 5,000-meter race is not contested in N.C. Independent School Athletic Association events but is raced on the national level.
• Knightdale’s time of 3:15.71 is among the nation’s best in the 4x400 meter relay.
Hilltop Invitational: The Hilltop Invitational baseball tournament begins today at four sites.
In the American Division at East Chapel Hill, East Forsyth plays South Granville at 1 p.m., and Cary plays East Chapel Hill at 4 p.m. At Orange High, Burlington Williams plays Granville Central at 4 and Norfolk (Va.) Maury plays Orange at 7 p.m.
In the National Division, at Cedar Ridge, Durham Jordan faces Cardinal Gibbons at 4 p.m. and Surry Central plays Cedar Ridge at 7 p.m. At Chapel Hill, Southern Alamance plays Kernersville Glenn at 4 p.m. and Tallmadge (Ohio) plays Chapel Hill at 7 p.m.
Second round play continues Friday. The championship games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday.
Bobby Murray Invitational: The Bobby Murray Invitational baseball tournament begins today with 10 teams playing at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary.
In the 4 p.m. openers, Fuquay-Varina plays Broughton, and Athens Drive plays Wake Forest-Rolesville. Wake County Home School faces Wake Forest Heritage at 5. East Wake plays Wakefield and Person takes on Millbrook at 7 p.m.
Play continues Friday. The championship game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.