Cooper Earns Full Ride to Eastern New Mexico University

Karon 'KayJaay' Cooper
East Los Angeles football team sophomore Karon 'KayJaay' Cooper, who is a full ride transfer to Eastern New Mexico University, scores from a 50-yard touchdown pas sin a 49-14 win at Pasadena City College this past season. (Photo by Tadzio Garcia)

MONTEREY PARK, CA — East Los Angeles College sophomore Karon ‘KayJaay’ Cooper received a full ride scholarship to play football at Eastern New Mexico University where he transfers to continue his education.

Cooper just graduated from ELAC and will continue classes this summer before he transfers. He is a scholar athlete majoring in psychology with a minor in criminal justice.

“I am fortunate to continue my education at Eastern New Mexico University,” said Cooper. “I’m looking to take the top off at this school and work hard to do my part in football and put up big numbers for the Greyhounds.”

Cooper says he worked hard to improve at ELAC and says his most memorable experience on the Huskies team was the 49-14 win at Metro League rival Pasadena City College in front of a big crowd. “Both teams were in the hunt for a bowl game and the league championship and Pasadena was undefeated in league,” said Cooper.

Cooper received a pass from freshman quarterback Paul Herrera and raced untouched for a 50-yard touchdown with 8:43 left in the game. “I was struggling and grinding during the season and going through a lot of adversity,” said Cooper. “For me to take that touchdown and go to the house and have my team on my back at that point, was a moment, big moment for the team, the fans and myself. They are my family and I’ll fight for them any day.”

Cooper is taking his future at Eastern New Mexico seriously. “After the Husky season ended, I stepped it up and continued to work hard to improve my skills and stay in shape,” said Cooper. “I improved from running a 5.0 flat in the 40 to a 4.6, and I’ve gained 30 pounds to 205.” Eastern New Mexico, who was 8-2 overall last season, asked Cooper to be ready to play football.

He enters the Eastern New Mexico gridiron program a bulked-lean, fighting machine. “The goal was to be big enough to make them ask what position (he) play(s),” said sophomore defensive back teammate Antoinette “Toni” Harris. “KayJaay is like family and is one of the most unique players you will ever find...”

Cooper transferred to Compton College from Locke High School. “After I got injured I made the decision to come to ELAC to further my education and play football,” said Cooper. “Because of the injury, I took a year off football and focused on my studies.”

“The ELAC football program with head coach Bobby Godinez was about a fast-paced unit always grinding with an attitude of winning,” said Cooper. “The program, from every coach and my teammates, helped me get to where I am today and which I am very grateful for.”

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story submitted by Tadzio Garcia