Commit Capsules: Darian Cooper

February 4, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Darian Cooper
Defensive Line
Dematha Catholic High School
Hyattsville, MD
6-2/2.80
Scout Profile | Rivals Profile

OFFERS: Iowa, Clemson, Wisconsin, West Virginia, UCLA, NC State, Michigan State, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Florida and others

STAR GAZING: Rivals.com rated Cooper a 3 Star prospect, the 33rd best defensive tackle in the nation and 6th best Maryland prospect. Scout.com rated him as a 4 Star prospect, the 16th best defensive tackle in the nation.

QUOTABLE: “My relationship with the coaching staff has been amazing – Coach [Kirk] Ferentz, [linebackers] coach [Darrell] Wilson, [defensive line] coach [Rick] Kaczenski,” Cooper said. “When I went out there, I felt a genuine brotherhood with the guys. They were guys I could get along with, sweatshirt and t-shirt guys. That’s the type of guy I am. I don’t need the big city lights.” Darian Cooper, in The Washington Post, 2/2/11

JON’S TAKE: Cooper’s film (above) is a lot of fun to watch. He is quick off the ball and has good feet down the line of scrimmage, something Adrian Clayborn really showed a lot of during his junior year at Iowa. He’ll could get to 300 pounds at Iowa before he is done, something that has been a rarity for Iowa defensive linemen. Then again, he might not as Iowa’s system has preferred agility to raw bulk. If he can add the weight and strength and maintain quickness and twitch reflex, then it will happen.

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Is there a chance to play as a true freshman? Sure, that opportunity exists. Christian Ballard saw some action at end for Iowa as a true frosh, recording 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He started his three years after that. That has been sort of a blueprint for the highly talented Iowa freshmen as of late; get their feet wet if they are physically ready and put them on a path for a three-year starting career. The opportunity for playing time is there with the losses Iowa suffered on the defensive line, but Cooper is going to play on the interior during his Iowa career; that much seems certain.

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Getting his verbal commitment was huge for Iowa. It will help the program the next four years directly with Cooper’s contributions. He seems like a great fit off the field, as he is a very good student. His commitment also helps develop that Dematha Catholic pipeline as the Hawkeyes. Last year, 7 Dematha players signed letters of intent to play football in a BCS conference (Iowa RB Marcus Coker among them) and there were more this season, including new Hawkeye Jordan Lomax. This is a great, great in that Iowa is building and one that could pay dividends long term.

High school honors – – Two-time third team all-conference honoree . . . All-Conference first team selection senior year . . . All-Metro Defensive MVP senior year . . . All-State first team selection senior year. . . DeMatha High School Defensive MVP senior year . . . Career – – helped prep squad to an 11-1 record in his senior year and a 9-3 record his junior year . . . team captain as a senior . . . completed career with 30 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 5 batted passes. . . had 12 sacks and 2 batted passes as a junior . . . had 10 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 3 batted passes as a senior . . . earned varsity letters in football (3) and track (4).

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Personal – – Born 1/5/93 . . . business major . . . mother is Catherine Cooper-Grogans . . . high school coach was Bill McGregor. Attended the same high school as current Hawkeye, Marcus Coker and future Hawkeye, Jordan Lomax.

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