Illinois priority linebacker target Shammond Cooper included the Illini in his final four schools on Thursday night. He made his announcement, which includes Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, in a tweet.
The 4-star LB attends Trinity Catholic High School in St. Louis, the same school that current Illinois tight ends coach Corey Patterson coached at. The Illini already have teammates Isaiah Williams and Bryce Childress in their 2019 class as commits.
Cooper is the 17th-best inside linebacker prospect in the country, according to 247.
Illinois is competing with leading elite level programs like Clemson and Oklahoma for Cooper. Oklahoma needs linebackers, and going to a school like Oklahoma would give Cooper a fantastic shot at make at least one College Football Playoff in his three or four years of college football. That’s something that Illinois cannot offer.
However, Illinois is very much still in contention for Cooper due to Cory Patterson. Cooper told Bud Elliot that he does need to see some potential from the Illini. “They gotta be somewhat decent, where we can go somewhere and change things around. I don’t want to go to a program that’s dead, can’t get out the water. I have to see improvement, but I see potential,” Shammond Cooper said. “They have to have a decent season, win like five games, show some potential against the big teams like Ohio State. I don’t want to see them getting 60-balled. I’d give it a 50-50 chance that Illinois sweeps all of us.”
This will be a tough sell for Illinois, but if they are able to convince Cooper that Illinois can and will improve, there is a chance they can beat out the blue-bloods for his services.
Just let us have this one, please.
He’ll make his decision on January 3 at the Under Armour All-American Game.
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