It’s no secret that the Syracuse University football staff is looking for wide receivers to fit into the Dino Babers offense, and the need is especially pressing now that Sadiq Palmer, the lone true receiver in this year’s class, had his offer pulled over academic concerns this week. One of the names that could emerge as a top target is California native DeVaughn Cooper.

Cooper, a 5-foot-11 receiver currently committed to Arizona, is a name I mentioned yesterday as a possible new name to monitor. It’s still early on in communications between Cooper (and his teammate, 5-foot-9 all-purpose back Sean Riley), but with Johnny Huntley canceling his Syracuse visit after deciding he’s firmly committed to Arizona, things could get interesting in a hurry.

Huntley was probably the top rated receiver that Babers and his staff were pursuing, and while the Orange are certainly looking hard at a number of other options – including junior college talent Alonge Brooks, Rutgers decommit Ahmed Bah, and UConn commit Quayvon Skanes – Cooper is an intriguing option. Particularly given the package nature of he and Riley, which is similar to that of Huntley and his friend and running back, Anthony Julmisse. Like those two, Cooper and Riley are both committed to another school but appear to be intrigued by Syracuse.

Cooper caught 67 balls for 1,280 yards with 20 touchdowns last season, and shows great speed and acceleration. Watching his highlights up above, he does a terrific job taking screen passes – which are a big part of the Babers offense – and using his quickness and vision to turn them into big plays. He also displays the ability to get deep on defensive backs, and knows when to turn on the jets to break a big play. His ability to accelerate quickly is no doubt one of the most enticing aspects of this talented 3-star recruit.  He’s a shifty, agile receiver who thrives in the open field.

This past season, Cooper and Riley helped guide Narbonne High to a state championship in California. Right now, Cooper is scheduled to take an official visit to Arizona on January 16, and so far doesn’t have an offer from Syracuse but one could be coming quickly, particularly given the situation with Huntley. He’s already following multiple Syracuse coaches on Twitter, as is Riley, so don’t be surprised if the two speedy Californians rocket up the Orange prospect board over the next few days.

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