Freshman wide receiver Corey Cooper arrived on the Syracuse campus in January after the Orange stuck by him through a semester at prep school when he did not qualify academically. A little over seven months later, however, Cooper decided it was time to move on.
”First I want to thank coach Shafer for giving me the opportunity,” Cooper said. “For sticking with me through prep school. Coach McDonald for sticking with me and the coaching staff for sticking with me, because first I had to go to prep school to get my grades right. And they stuck with me and that’s why I was loyal to them and committed here. That’s what I want to do first.
”Second, the reason why I transferred is because I feel like I want to be closer to home. My family wants to see me play. They can’t drive 10-hours. They used to be able to do that but they can’t do that anymore, drive 10-hours to a home game. So I just wanted to be closer to home to be with my family. Have my family and friends see me play.”
Cooper said the decision has been on his mind for some time. But it was over the last few days that he made his decision final.
”I wouldn’t say I was homesick,” Cooper said. “I just wanted to see my family and my family wanted to see me play. I wouldn’t say homesick. Like my dad said, I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Obviously the decision just came. I told the coaches while I was at Fort Drum. That was when I made my decision.
”Coach Shafer has been supportive of me through this process. Of course he’s sad to see me leave. I want to thank coach Shafer for being supportive of me. He said he’d help me anyway possible. I just want to thank him for saying that and do all of the things he’s going to do for me to help me find a school.”
When Cooper announced his intentions on social media Wednesday night, many theorized that a factor in his conclusion was the depth at wide receiver. He says, however, that was not the case.
”No that wasn’t really a factor,” Cooper said. “I’m a big family guy. Like I said, they can’t drive 10-hours to see me play. I felt that being closer to home would let them come see all of my home games and maybe some road games too.”
Even though he was only on campus for several months, Cooper will think back on his time at Syracuse with positive memories.
”In my message, I said that I met lifelong friends here,” Cooper said. “Some of my teammates I’m going to keep in contact with forever. My roommates Kendall Moore and Isaiah Johnson, I’ll keep in contact with them. I made some lifelong friends here.
”I just want to thank coach Shafer for sticking with me through the whole process of prep school and not qualifying and for helping me out now. He’s really a great guy. I really appreciate him and his family.”
Despite decided to transfer, Cooper will always hold the Syracuse fans in high regard.
”I just want to say I’m sorry things couldn’t work out,” Cooper said. “But I had to do what’s best for me. I wish you guys the best of luck and the best season. Hopefully you guys will do well.”
Cooper will watch Syracuse from whichever school he transfers to and continue to cheer for the Orange this season and in the future.
He also said that his family has discussed a few schools but declined to name that at this point. He hopes to have a decision by Wednesday or Thursday of next week.