Cooley exploded as a freshman

Cooley exploded as a freshman

Octavious Cooley has the size of some top senior tight end prospects right now, but he is only going to be a sophomore. The talented 2016 prospect has already picked up three scholarship offers with many more on the way...

It was easy for Scout to pick out which one was Octavious Cooley when we went to watch spring practice at Laurel High School in the spring.

Cooley lined up at wide receiver, not tight end on that day, and he was the biggest of the group, the toughest to tackle, and the one with the strongest hands.

The 6-foot-3, 228 pound sophomore out of Mississippi burst onto the scene as a freshman when he caught 40 passes for 959 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.

He wants to better that in 2013.

"I have been working on my speed, just getting faster, and making more plays this year," Cooley told Scout. "I think I have great hands, I know I can get open, and I just want to get faster. I have been working on that."

He has already shown three schools enough to allow them to offer him a scholarship.

"Southern Miss offered me first, then I got offers from Mississippi State and Ole Miss too. I have visited each school and I have done camps at each school too.

"I do not know as much about Southern Miss as I do the other two yet, but they have new coaches, they are working hard to be a good team, and them offering me first means something to me.

"I grew up a fan of Ole Miss as a kid because of my family. I have an uncle and an aunt that went to Ole Miss and I have a cousin going there now. I really like Coach [Hugh] Freeze, I love the campus, and their new facilities are wonderful.

"At Mississippi State, I liked the overall school. It is set up nicely and I think they have a good campus. I like how they are an in-state school and they will throw the ball around too."

A number of SEC schools and Ohio State have expressed interest in Cooley already and there are two schools he really wants offers from.

"Alabama and LSU are two of the top schools in the country and I want them to know about me. I have been watching them, I like how they play, I like how they win, and both are top programs."

Laurel Head Coach Todd Breland thinks those offers will come in time. Likely sooner rather than later.

"Octavious is a player that can really do it all. He is so good for us right now as a receiver because of his body, his hands, and what he can do with the football once he has it," Breland said.

"He is already on so many recruiting lists, he has offers, and he has is going to get so many more. It is going to be hard for him not to be one of the best at his position in his class. He will add many more big offers.

"He just has so much potential. He is already a good player, but he has a lot of more room to improve. He can play different positions and he will be fun to watch as he grows these next three seasons for us at Laurel."

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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