Cooper Rush's NFL odds? Better than a Hail Mary
Central Michigan's Cooper Rush stood on Shorecrest's Haskell Field on a bright Thursday morning, reflecting on the moment he segued from four-year starter to folk hero.
"Definitely will look back in a few years and go, 'Wow, that was a good one,'" he said.
The 2016 season barely had dawned when Rush and his Chippewas teammates crossed the threshhold of YouTube immortality. With no time remaining and his team down by three at Oklahoma State, Rush took a shotgun snap at midfield, stepped up in his narrowing pocket and flung a prayer toward classmate Jesse Kroll.
Kroll snagged it at the OSU 10 near two converging Cowboy defenders and, as he was being taken down, lateraled to Corey Willis, who outraced a pair of Cowboys to the left side of the end zone for a 30-27 Chippewas shocker.
"It was awesome," said Rush, who will take snaps for the East in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game. "It was a crazy game, fun game. It was great for CMU. I think Central Michigan was the No. 1 thing trending on Twitter."
Now, four months after watching his phone blow up in the wake of that Sept. 10 shocker, Rush is hoping his NFL Draft stock will do the same.
Widely deemed a draft sleeper, Rush possesses the size (6-foot-2, 1/2, 229 pounds) and cerebrum that are de facto NFL prerequisites these days. A career 12,000-yard passer and game-tape junkie, he graduated in May (3.86 GPA) with a degree in actuarial sciences.
"Pretty much they work for the insurance business, do risk and probability," he said of his major. "Crunch those numbers for all those policies."
In the insurance spirit, several who have seen Rush insist he's a very low risk. CBS Sports currently ranks him No. 15 among draft-eligible quarterbacks.
"Everybody looks to him to be his best all the time and he has been," Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck told the Detroit News.
"He’s incredibly consistent. He’s very accurate, has a big arm. He’s very, very smart and makes elite decisions and you can tell his leadership runs true through the entire football team."