EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – The decisions are in, and El Paso’s top two high school football players in the Class of 2022 are taking their talents to Power 5 programs.
In a joint commitment ceremony held in front of friends and family in El Paso on Friday, Burges running back Tavorus Jones and Andress safety Jeremiah Cooper made their collegiate choices: Missouri for Jones and Iowa State for Cooper.
The four-star recruit Jones announced he will be playing college football in the SEC at the University of Missouri. He chose the Tigers over three other finalists: Alabama, Penn State and Texas A&M.
“They treated me like family when I went up there for my visit,” said Jones of his commitment to the Tigers. “It was a great environment, they showed me all the facilities and everything and it definitely felt like it was home.”
Meanwhile Cooper, a 3-star product, will head to Iowa State to play in the Big 12. He chose the Cyclones over other top suitors Baylor, SMU and Texas Tech.
“It was a tough decision for me and my family, but it was the family culture over there,” said Cooper. “They’re good people over there and what they’re building is special. I want to be a part of it.”
Cooper and Jones are two of the most highly-recruited football players El Paso has seen in years. Both garnered over 25 scholarship offers, many of them from Power 5 programs.
Jones’ recruitment really got started in the summer of 2020, when he received offers from the lives of Alabama, Penn State, USC, and others. Currently rated as a top recruit in the nation on ESPN’s 300 for the Class of 2022, Jones’ visit to Missouri really sold him on the Tigers.
He told KTSM that the Tigers want him to come in and play immediately at the running back position.
“Definitely coming in as a freshman, I can come in and get a lot of touches,” Jones said. “I have to gain some weight to play in the SEC, but I definitely want to show out to prove why I’m supposed to be in the SEC.”
As for Cooper, he didn’t receive his first Division I scholarship offer until January, when the hometown UTEP Miners extended him an offer. After that, his profile exploded, with 27 universities vying for his services.
He eventually narrowed it down to four finalists: Baylor, Iowa State, SMU and Texas Tech, taking visits to all four schools, eventually choosing the Cyclones. Iowa State has prioritized the standout defensive back, who has made plays all over the field in his Andress career.
“They want me to play safety, but I can play corner as well,” said Cooper. “I want to go ball out. I want to play as a freshman, but if not, I just have to work.”
Cooper comes from a very athletic family. His older brother, Tristan, played college football at Arizona, and his older sister Hannah is a basketball player at Oral Roberts. Jeremiah will now follow in the footsteps of his older siblings at the Division I level.
El Paso’s star gridiron duo made the choice to commit together based on a friendship they’ve fostered over the years competing against each other in various activities. Though they might be district rivals on the field, they put that to the side on Friday night.
They’ll continue to support each other the next four years and beyond, wherever their paths take them after their time at Iowa State and Missouri comes to an end.