Bayside’s Cooper Gets It Done In All Phases

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A VHSCA first-team all-state selection at wide receiver, junior Anthony Cooper is more than just an offensive presence for Bayside (Virginia Beach, VA). The 6-0, 180-pound prospect made a huge impact on offense, defense, and special teams this past season for the Beach district and Division 6 Eastern region champion Marlins.

“College coaches just look at him and like his ability,” Marlins head coach Darnell Moore said. “He’s a playmaker on both sides of the ball. He had two punt returns for touchdowns last year. He had a kick return for a touchdown. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns. He ran one in on offense and had seven touchdown receptions. He had five interceptions to go along with all of that. He’s a playmaker.”

Cooper’s first start on the varsity level, Bayside’s 2009 season opener against Green Run, was a memorable one.

“After my first game at Green Run, when I made the game-winning touchdown catch, Coach Moore said I had the chance to be one of the top players in the state,” recalled Cooper, who hauled in a 60-yard touchdown pass in addition to the game-winning 15-yard touchdown catch. “From that day on, I could see for myself that I could make the next level.”

Fast forwarding a year and a half and Cooper boasts five college scholarship offers, including Richmond, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Western Michigan. UVa, which has secured commitments from two Bayside standouts over the course of the past two classes, was the first to offer.

“It was a good feeling,” Cooper said of receiving his first offer. In addition to those schools that have offered, he is also receiving interest from North Carolina and N.C. State, among others. “They came and talked to my coach a lot about me during the school year. They said if I keep doing what I’m doing I’ll eventually get an offer. And I did.”

Virginia has been said to be the favorite in this race, though Cooper claims to be open at this point in his recruitment.

“They are high, but every school is high on my list right now,” Cooper said. “No school is ahead right now.”

He admits, though, that having the two former teammates in Charlottesville