Tyrese Cooper On College Decision: 'Time To Grow'

Tyrese Cooper is ready to start a new journey in college, and in recent days he said he's begun to think about that new life. 

But the Miami Norland High School senior, one of the nation's most prolific and publicly covered high school track and field athletes of all-time--and MileSplit's No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2019--said he hasn't let the secret out of the bag just yet.

He says he's still waiting until February 6 to reveal his final choice. 

"My coaches don't even know," Cooper said. 

Cooper's future, however, is official. On December 20, he said he signed his National Letter of Intent and confirmed to MileSplit that he received full scholarship aid. 

Over his recent recruiting period, Cooper visited the University of Texas, the University of Oregon and Ohio State University -- the Longhorns, however, confirmed the Florida native has not signed with them. 

"I'm nervous," Cooper said. "It's time for me to grow. I'm very nervous, not going to be able to see my family like that. It's going to be really far away." 

Cooper says a big part of his decision stemmed around his new program allowing him a chance to compete in football -- and possibly walk-on to the program's baseball team. He says his official scholarship aid covers his involvement in any Division I sport, "not just football and track," he said.  

His signing was a special moment, considering all the senior had gone through in the last year. The season was a learning experience. It included some very public cases of struggle. 

But Cooper feels all of it was a part of his journey. 

"(I know everyone wants to know) how the story ends," Cooper said. "My coach is like, 'You're going to tell a story. You have a big story behind you.' A lot of people have watched me grow from where I was, from losing to winning." 

Cooper admitted he felt some pressure from the weight of expectations in 2018. But he's positive about his future. 

While injury slowed him down in 2018, he remained one of the country's most talented and versatile sprinters in the country.

Over the outdoor season, he lowered his career best time at 100 meters to 10.34 seconds--his wind-legal best is 10.39--and produced six times under 21 seconds for 200 meters, including a best of 20.73 seconds at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in August. His best effort, from 2016 (20.46), is No. 13 all-time. 

Cooper is so versatile, he's even run the 300mH (38.31) and the 800m (1:57.93). 

While he didn't score highs of 45 seconds at 400 meters--something Cooper did nine times in 2017--he still ran 46 seconds seven times, including a best of 46.02 seconds at AAU. He owns the No. 7 fastest performance all-time at 45.23 seconds from 2016. 

Indoors, he's run 6.83 seconds for 60 meters, 21.05 for 200 meters, 32.87 for 300 meters, 46.01 for 400 meters and 1:01.88 for 500 meters. He's No. 11 all-time at 200m, No. 3 all-time at 300m, No. 2 all-time at 400m and No. 2 all-time at 500m. 

The Florida native still has two more seasons left and hopes to break all his marks as a senior. But his most proud accomplishment? 

"Making it to my senior year," he said. "Most of my friends didn't make it to their senior year. I'm making the most of it." 

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