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Life-Long Hawkeye Fan Cooper DeJean Building Relationship with Iowa

February 22, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Like many high school players around the state, Cooper DeJean admired the Iowa program from afar. When the Hawkeyes began recruiting the Odebolt Arthur-Battle Creek-Ida Grove (IA) junior, he found that his impressions from a distance rang true up close.

DeJean visited Iowa for four games last fall. He returned to campus for a junior day last month after which the Hawkeyes offered him a scholarship.

“It was great,” he told HN. “I grew up an Iowa fan, so it’s definitely really cool to have the opportunity to play football there. When you get there, you can tell there is a family atmosphere. Coach (Kirk) Ferentz has been there a long time, and they have built a really great culture there.”

FCS programs North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Illinois State also have offered the Class of 2021 prospect scholarships. Iowa State, Kansas State and Nebraska have shown him interest. He visited the Huskers on Jan. 25.

Iowa has built a strong relationship with DeJean (6-2, 200).

“I talk to coach Tyler Barnes usually daily, and I talk to coach Levar Woods every once in a while. They are really good people,” DeJean said.

Recruiting sites list him as an athlete. The Hawkeyes see him as a safety.

DeJean led OABCIG to a 13-0 record and a Class 2A state championship game victory against Waukon in November. As a quarterback, he threw for 3,546 yards and 42 touchdowns while rushing for 1,292 yards and 24 scores. Defensively, he totaled 34 tackles and five interceptions as a defensive back. He averaged 30.0 yards on two kick returns and returned two punts for touchdowns.

A well-rounded athlete, DeJean is averaging 25.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists for the OABCIG basketball team this season. He looks pretty explosive on the hardwood.

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Dejean, who plans on majoring in Sports Management when he’s in college, is approaching the recruiting process deliberately. He’s getting to know coaches and learn about schools.

“I will probably make my decision this summer sometime. I don’t have a set date yet,” he said.

DeJean has a want list when he’s researching.

“Good academics are important. Having the chance to play at the next level is important, and if that doesn’t work out, then a place that will set me up for success for life after football,” he said.

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He’ll look to take more campus visits this spring and summer. He’ll be working around a busy schedule that includes track and baseball.

Dejean’s 21-feet, 10-inch long jump ranked third in Class 2A last season when he was a sophomore. He finished sixth in the 2A 100 meters (:11.55) at the state meet. Last summer, he posted a 2.44 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings for the baseball team.

Rivals and 247 rank DeJean as a three-star prospect. The former sees him as the No. 58 athlete nationally in the ’21 Class and the No. 14 player in the state regardless of position. The latter shows him at 52 and 10.

Here’s a look at his junior football highlights:

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