Cooper was an all-South Jersey kicker last season. He led South Jersey with eight field goals and also had 13 touchbacks.
Cooper is entering his senior season with 24 career field goals. The South Jersey record is 30, set by Lenape's Rob Juliano in 1990.
"He's been so reliable and so clutch for us," Mainland coach Bob Coffey said. "As a kicker and as a kid, he's just great."
Cooper's father also kicked at Mainland and was a kicker at Temple from 1984-87. He's been a kicking coach at Mainland for the last 25 years, according to Coffey.
The younger Cooper said he knew from second grade that he wanted to kick at a Division I program. But he never seriously considered Temple.
"It's kind of a funny story," Cooper said. "I knew my dad went there, but I never really thought about going to Temple. And they really weren't recruiting me that much, either.
"But when they started to recruit me and ask me to come for a visit [in early June], I was blown away by the things they are doing there. I had no idea the campus was that nice, the facilities were that good."
Cooper said Temple's move to the Big East Conference next season from the Mid-American Conference was another reason he anticipates a bright future for the program.
"Temple is going places," Cooper said. "I couldn't see myself anywhere else."
Contact Phil Anastasia
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