Lyndon Cooper has had some good birthday parties in his young life. But the one he had to celebrate his 17th last Friday was one he'll always remember.
There was the obligatory cake and some balloons during a get-together at his grandparents' house.
But when it came time for the presents, the 6-foot-3, 315-pound offensive tackle from Carrollton, Ga., wasn't just on the receiving end. He also gave one out to NC State coach Dave Doeren and his staff by committing to play his college football career for the Wolfpack.
Cooper broke the news via a Zoom conference. And then the celebration really began.
"I had Coach Doeren, Coach (John) Garrison and Coach (Tim) Beck on the call and once I told them Coach Garrison put on a jersey, Coach Beck was blowing his whistle, Coach Doeren was yelling," Cooper said. "They were happy for me. It was a good day."
Although Cooper told the coaching staff of his decision on Friday, he didn't officially announce his commitment until Monday. He becomes the 16th member of Doeren's 2021 recruiting class and the third offensive lineman to commit.
He chose the Wolfpack over ACC rival Syracuse, among other schools.
Here is what the fast-rising young prospect had to say about his reasons for choosing State, how he fits in with the Wolfpack and his goals for the upcoming season:
What sold you on State?
"One of the biggest things is the people Coach Doeren surrounds himself with. The coaching staff that he has, that really stood out to me. I also like how he let his players express themselves how they feel about any situation that's going on right now in the world compared to some. That really stood out to me.
"The coaching staff, for the past two weeks before I committed, they were on my ear every day. I was on Zooms with proably every person that is going to be involved with me each day. The commitment that had for me is what made me choose them over every other school."
What made you commit now, because you wanted to do it on your birthday?
"That was a thing I was trying to do, but if I wasn't ready I wasn't going to commit. But On Friday I felt I was ready. Me and my mom, we talked it over and she agreed with me. She said if you're ready, you're ready. I felt ready, so I went ahead and committed.
Assuming that there's a season, what kind of goals do you have for your senior year in high school? Are you looking forward to getting some stars next to your name?
"The stars thing, that's cool and all. But I just want a senior season to fight with my brothers one last time. Right now, they're still projecting that we're going to have a season starting in September, They just moved it back. I just want to have one last season with my brothers, then go on to the next level and become a better player."
How much contact have you had with your new brothers, especially fellow offensive line commits Jaleel Davis and Thornton Gentry?
"I've been speaking to them since I got the offer (from State). Jaleel has been on my head ever since then. We're all in a group chat, talking to each other, getting to know each other. It's pretty cool building a relationship with the people I'm going to be spending the next four-to-five years with."
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook -- ACC Insider