Charlotte, NC - Development Academy product Mason Cookus is the newest member of the 2020 recruiting class, as announced by JWU Charlotte Men's Soccer Head Coach Matt Payne.
Cookus is a wingback from Mooresville, NC, where he played at Mooresville High School his sophomore and junior years. He was recognized as All-Conference I-Meck 4A following his junior season. During this time, he also played for Lake Norman Soccer Club under Adam Tipper, whom he credits heavily in his development. Cookus was selected to play for the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club Development Academy in his final year of high school. The DA is the highest level of youth soccer in the United States, and Charlotte Independence Soccer Club sat in in 1st place in the U18/U19 Southeast Blue Division and were slated for a #3 seed at the national playoffs when the season was postponed due to COVID-19.
When asked why he chose Johnson & Wales, Cookus responded, "Coach Matt Payne shows that he really cares about his players and shows he really believes in me as a player. Also when going on a visit I was really impressed by the campus as well as it being close to home. I also like the atmosphere of the college."
Mason is the son of Lisa and Dennis Cookus and plans to major in Business.
"We couldn't be happier to welcome Mason and his family into ours here at Johnson & Wales. This has been a long recruitment, and we are ecstatic to add Mason the player, but even more so Mason the person," commented Coach Payne. "Mason may be a high profile recruit, but he's never let it go to his head. He's a high quality human being, and he has approached this process with determination and humility. Those qualities, along with the many others he possesses, are why I believe he can he achieve his goals within this game."