Live

Watch CBSN Live

Football recruit lets friend with cerebral palsy announce his college choice at signing day ceremony

A high school senior from Hanahan, South Carolina, had a major decision to make on Wednesday, so he had a good friend come along and help. High school football star Cooper Dawson was revealing his college choice on National Signing Day and had his friend with cerebral palsy make the announcement in the heartwarming ceremony, CBS affiliate WCSC reports.

Dawson suffered a knee injury before football season began and had to sit out this season. But local paper The Post and Courier reports he was still recruited by top schools including Clemson, Tulane, Army and UCLA.

While he sat out the season, he became close with his classmate Kingsley Feinman, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Feinman inspired Dawson as his torn ACL healed.

screen-shot-2018-12-20-at-9-31-26-am.png
The heartfelt signing ceremony will be one to beat. WCSC

"He's inspired me a lot through the torn ACL process," Dawson said at the signing ceremony, CBS Sports reports. "He taught me that the only disability is a bad attitude. And if he can come around with this big old smile on, I can do it just the same."

That's why Dawson included his friend in the special ceremony. "I told Kingsley I'd announce it to him before I told anyone else," Dawson said. "So I'm going to tell him and I'll let him announce it to y'all."

Dawson whispered his school choice in Feinman's ear. "He's going to Syracuse!" Feinman announced to the waiting crowd.

The crowd cheered and Dawson put a Syracuse hat on Feinman's head before putting one on himself. The announcement is one to top – not every recruited player brings their inspiration with them on National Signing Day. But Feinman made a lasting impact on Dawson and taught him a valuable lesson: keep a smile on your face, no matter what. 

screen-shot-2018-12-20-at-9-31-42-am.png
Even after a torn ACL, Dawson was recruited by several schools – and he wanted his friend who inspired him there by his side when he made the choice. WCSC
View CBS News In