Robbinsdale Cooper senior Phoenix Sproles committed to North Dakota State University during his junior year. With a decision like that in the rearview mirror, he was set up for a tremendous senior season. The team started 4-0 and Sproles was…
Robbinsdale Cooper senior Phoenix Sproles committed to North Dakota State University during his junior year. With a decision like that in the rearview mirror, he was set up for a tremendous senior season. The team started 4-0 and Sproles was a big part of both the offensive and defensive game plans. In game five the team kept winning but Sproles season took an unexpected turn. An injured hand resulted in a reduced role on the team. The Bison recruited Sproles as a wide receiver, and for more than half the season Sproles' offensive output was severely hampered. The Bison ' however ' were not concerned.
The Hawks had one of their best seasons in recent memory.
'We fell short of state, but I think it was the best season the best season Cooper has ever had,' Sproles said. 'We were undefeated during the regular season and won a playoff game. It was a great year.'
Sproles had to adjust to his mid-season role change.
'I broke my hand halfway through the season, and I didn't play much offensively. Defensively offenses didn't throw my way very much at safety.'
Despite the broken hand, Sproles didn't miss any time.
'I broke the fifth metacarpal. I had a cast on it and could play with it. I played the whole year on defense with a cast on my hand.'
He played some offense but was only able to catch two balls, something that could have made his standing with the Bison suddenly questionable.
'They just wanted me to get healthy,' Sproles said. 'They were surprised I was still able to play and help my team. They knew what I could do offensively from my junior year film. They liked my athleticism from this year ' still making plays with a broken hand. They saw me making tackles and batting down balls with a broken hand. I didn't get to have that big offensive year, but they still saw my heart and that I was still able to play.'
Sproles ended up with 17 total offers ' including from Division I programs.
'NDSU was the best campus, the best football team, the best coaching staff,'
Sproles said about why he signed during the early signing period with the Bison. 'NDSU was it for me. I committed early and signed a couple of weeks ago.'
A handful of programs saw Sproles as a safety, but most ' including the Bison ' recruited the Hawks' senior as a receiver.
Although he admits, he is a football player playing basketball and has a limited role on the team ' Sproles comes off the bench for the Hawks' basketball team and once the spring season starts he will be focused on getting ready for football season.
They have not had any talks about it yet, but Sproles expects to go into the season expecting to play but knows a redshirt season might be in the cards.
His senior season might not have ended the way he had hoped, but how he handled adversity solidified his position in the minds of the Bison and will ensure his college career starts the way he has hoped.