By Randee Starritt
June 12, 2016
Name two people not named Clinton from the great state of Arkansas? A little difficult? How about this one. Besides Darren McFadden and Ryan Mallett, do you know any other football players from Razorback country? I’ll pause so you can Google it.
Arkansas may not be one of the first states to pop in your head when it comes to football factories, but that’s just the way they like it. Flying under the radar. Quality over quantity. Let the bigger states like Texas, Florida and Alabama make all the headlines, Arkansas will just keep pumping out the blue chips.
There’s no denying it. There’s definitely something in the water below the Mason Dixon line when it involves football.
In particular, quarterbacks.
We all know it, just check the NFL rosters. Drew Brees, Andy Dalton, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton. Oh, and those brothers from Louisiana who’s dad use to play for the Saints. Their last name escapes me.
The next great one may be coming in the 2023 draft, and his name is Cooper Monroe.
But before I roll out the red carpet to Canton for Cooper, how about I tell you a little more about the right handed gunslinger.
Sure, these days you throw a rock and you’re bound to hit a kid or two that can chunk the pigskin and then promptly “Dab” with his buddies in the end zone. Football has become such an entertainment juggernaut that football throwers are a dime a dozen. But it’s the little things instilled at a young age that elevate those who dream of playing quarterback, to aspire.
Cooper is blessed to have these grassroots. From his great-grandfather who played football at Vanderbilt and later became the head coach at Cornell and The Citadel, to his parents who both played competitive tennis. The competition gene has been passed down from generation to generation and Cooper has nurtured and harnessed it to his fullest.
This past season at Little Rock Catholic High, the blonde bomber finished with over 1200 yards passing and 8 touchdowns. Oh, did I mention he was the starting Quarterback for the freshman football team?
What makes his accomplishments even more impressive is that Little Rock Catholic High School also plays in the 7A classification. Arkansas largest Division. That’s no small feat. Cooper’s hard work in one season paid off, as he’s competing for the varsity QB position in his sophomore year.
Cooper dons #10 on his blue uniform, stands strong in the pocket, and is a natural leader in the huddle. Sound like another quarterback from the south we know who happens to be playing in the Big Apple these days?
He’s working hard to achieve that same success one day. Last summer, the young teenager stepped foot on some holy grounds attending football camps at Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn, SMU and Rice. This summer will be no different as he’ll be going back to Arkansas, SMU and Ole Miss again but also throwing in camps at Memphis, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Arkansas State. That’s not bragging, that’s dedication to perfecting a craft that a small few can truly make great.
More recently, I've also been working with Coach Dennis Gile at QB Academy. He’s elevated my play even more. Both are great instructors and mentors,” Cooper said.
Cooper is a great young man with a good head on his shoulders. When asked what makes him unique and stand out over all the other QB’s, he said, “I have a good combination of work ethic, desire, competitiveness, decision making and commitment to teamwork.”
Not bad kid…
What college would you like to attend some day?
“I'm not sure yet. I really want to contribute to my high school team and then hopefully that will create some opportunities for me. But I am from Arkansas, so playing for the Razorbacks would obviously be really cool.”
That’s the kind of attitude and focus that creates champions.
Going from dreaming to aspiring.
Keep it up, Cooper.
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