Robbinsdale Cooper junior wide receiver/defensive back Phoenix Sproles ended his collegiate recruitment when he announced his commitment to join North Dakota State University June 12. Sproles announced his Top-8 list May 16, but he felt he knew where he would…
Robbinsdale Cooper junior wide receiver/defensive back Phoenix Sproles ended his collegiate recruitment when he announced his commitment to join North Dakota State University June 12.
Sproles announced his Top-8 list May 16, but he felt he knew where he would end up once he kicked off his recruitment.
“My sister goes there, I have had teammates in the past go there that were pretty successful, and it was a no-brainer at the end of the day,” Sproles said. “It’s close to home, about three hours.”
While Sproles’ heart was set on attending NDSU, the consistent recruitment from the coaching staff helped make his decision easier.
“I really got to know the coaching staff during this process,” Sproles said. “They were tough recruiters, so I got to build a good relationship with them, which made this all easier.
“I just waited to see what else was out there, but NDSU was the best option.”
Sproles, a two-way player for Cooper, will focus on offense at NDSU, where he believes he can be a game-changer for the Bison.
When asked about what he feels he brings to the table, one quality in particular came to mind.
“My ability to make defenders miss,” Sproles said. “As a receiver your No. 1 job is to hold onto the football and then make a play, so I feel I can make plays, put points on the board and win football games.”
Sproles, Northstar Football News’ ninth-ranked 2018 prospect, will be on the receiving end of passes from fellow Minnesotan Trey Lance, Northstar Football News’ fourth-ranked prospect from Marshall. Sproles said a quick chat with Lance got him excited about the future for the Bison offense.
“I first asked him why NDSU and he told me about all the things NDSU had to offer, and that made me say ‘let’s make it official, let’s play together,’” Sproles said. “We’re both excited to win some championships.”
For Sproles, that commitment made his dream of playing collegiate football come to fruition. While he still has one more year of high school football left, Sproles is excited for the chance to play in front of the big crowds that Bison football games generate.
“I have always dreamed of playing college ball, and a big factor in that is playing in front of big crowds,” Sproles said. “I know NDSU has a big fan base and it gets really loud in the Fargo Dome, so I’m really looking forward to that.”
Before he gets to NDSU, Sproles knows there is more he must work on in order to succeed at the next level.
“There’s always things I can improve on, but I feel everything at the next level is faster, so I have to improve my speed,” Sproles said. “I want to get way faster.”
Sproles will have that chance to improve this year as he looks to guide Cooper to the state tournament for the first time since the Hawks made their lone appearance in 1996.
With most of the team’s core returning this year, Sproles and the Hawks know they have an opportunity for success in front of them.
“Our offense is mostly full of returning players from last year,” Sproles said. “With Cameron King back at quarterback, I have no doubt he will get it done this year, I am expecting another 2,000-yard season from him.
“It’s going to be fun, we have some nice receivers coming back.”