Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLESANT, Mich. – Cooper Rush has been overlooked before.
He had one scholarship offer coming out of Lansing Catholic High School, and he made the most of that, becoming one of the Mid-American Conference’s all-time best quarterbacks in his four years at Central Michigan.
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Charlotte native went undrafted on Saturday as he watched the NFL draft with family and friends. Shortly after the draft ended, Rush had a team, the Dallas Cowboys.
Rush will join the team as an undrafted free agent, joining former Chippewa stars Thomas Rawls (Seattle Seahawks) and Jahleel Addae (San Diego Chargers) who followed that route and are today starters with their respective NFL teams.
“It was definitely a long day waiting to hear your name,” said Rush, who watched coverage of the Draft in Ann Arbor accompanied by family, friends and former CMU teammates after his brother Dillon’s graduation from the University of Michigan. “The last round we started receiving some calls. It was the best situation. My agent (Leigh Steinberg) and I discussed it. At the end of the day, Dallas is a great spot for me.
“Kind of sinking in now. I’m thankful for it. Can’t wait to get to work.”
Rush, who said a “couple other teams” contacted him, is the second-leading passer in CMU history. A near 4.0 student, he scored points with scouts for his intelligence, cerebral approach, work ethic and football acumen, among other things.
He will join former Chippewa Kavon Frazier, a safety who is entering his second year with the Cowboys. Another former CMU quarterback, Gary Hogeboom, played for the iconic franchise from 1980-85.
Rush became the starter at CMU early in his freshman year, and in the end goes down as one of the very best to have ever worn the Maroon and Gold. Perhaps even more sterling was his off-field reputation, where he struck a dignified presence and became the an outstanding representative of the program, the university and student-athletes at every turn.
Among Rush's myriad accolades was the fact that he was one of 12 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which goes to the top scholar-athlete in college football.
“I can’t thank CMU enough – my coaches, everybody at CMU,” he said. “It was my one chance out of high school to play college football. Most of all my teammates, all they guys I’ve been in the huddle with. Great chance to represent CMU. Can’t wait to make CMU proud.”