News broke on Wednesday that LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper is leaving Baton Rouge to take a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While the news means LSU coach Les Miles will have to scramble to hire a new assistant coach with a week to go before the start of spring camp, there's an even more immediate impact that comes on the recruiting trail.
While Cooper did the majority of his evaluations during summer camps prior to a prospect's senior season, the third-year defensive backs coach had already locked up two commitments for the 2013 class: Loranger athlete Jeryl Brazil and Jewel-Sumner safety Jeremy Cutrer.
|Brazil was offered by Cooper and LSU during camp last summer|
After hearing the news of Cooper's departure on Wednesday night, both prospects said they are still solid to the Tigers.
"I am definitely still with LSU," Brazil said. "I am just curious as to who will take over the position. That's a lot to fill considered the coach he was."
Added Cutrer: "I still feel comfortable with where I am at. It doesn’t really matter who is there. I grew up a fan of LSU."
Cutrer said his relationship with Cooper began to grow after he committed to the Tigers on Feb. 6.
"We talked probably five or six times, and I liked him a lot," Cutrer said. "He was a great person. He would talk to me about playing for LSU and what he could do for me with his coaching. He said he could help with getting me to the next level."
For Brazil, the news hits much closer to home.
While Cutrer projects as a safety, Brazil, at 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, is more of a mystery when it comes to projecting positions.
But during LSU's camp last summer, Brazil caught the eye of Cooper during workouts at cornerback.
By the end of the weekend, Brazil had an offer from Miles and was committed to the Tigers.
"This man saw the talent in me when no one else did," Brazil said. "He had great expectations for me to play under him. I had that relationship with him that's hard to build with coaches.
"He's the best DB coach in the country, and I wanted to play under him.
How close had Brazil grown to Cooper?
When the news broke on Wednesday night, Brazil was in the car with Cooper's son, Tristan, a junior and member of the football team at University High.
"It's really heartbreaking, to be honest," Brazil said. "It's just crazy."
For Cutrer, it's about moving on with the talent on hand in Baton Rouge.
"I was just with Tyrann Mathieu the other day at a friend's house, and he was saying to keep my head up and do what I have to do in school, then once I get there we will play ball and get it going on the next level," Cutrer said.