Ohio State wide receiver Mookie Cooper enters NCAA transfer portal

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Mookie Cooper answers a question during the football signing day press conference on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

Ohio State freshman wide receiver Mookie Cooper has put his name in the NCAA transfer portal, a team spokesman confirmed.

He appeared in one game this season against Indiana, according to program participation records, and did not record a statistic.

Cooper was one of four top-100 wide receiver prospects signed by the Buckeyes in their recruiting class for 2020.

Two of the other three freshman receivers caught multiple passes this fall, including Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba who snagged seven and six apiece.

But playing time was limited as the Buckeyes played a condensed Big Ten schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic and their passing game relied heavily on Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, two of the favorite targets for quarterback Justin Fields.  

Cooper is from St. Louis and was one of 14 freshmen to enroll early at Ohio State in January in order to participate in spring practice.

But the majority of spring practices were canceled at the onset of the pandemic of March and players returned to their home towns.

Listed as 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Cooper was seen as a potential option in the slot.

On one of his radio shows early in the season, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day mentioned that Cooper featured a skill set similar to Purdue’s Rondale Moore and Nebraska’s Wan'Dale Robinson, two other talented playmakers in the Big Ten who could use their speed in space and on jet sweeps.

Roster attrition has been minimal at Ohio State in recent months.

Cooper is the first scholarship player to put his name in the transfer portal since fellow receiver Jaelen Gill did in April.

Gill ultimately ended up at Boston College, where he caught 29 passes for 435 yards and a touchdown in 11 games this fall.

The Buckeyes’ depth chart at wide receiver is likely to remain crowded in the coming seasons.

They signed three receivers in their 2021 recruiting class earlier this season, including Emeka Egbuka, the nation’s top-ranked receiver.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman