August 26, 2012

Cooper the newest Spartan

On Saturday night the Michigan state staff got some excellent recruiting news. Defensive end Demetrius Cooper of Julian High School in Chicago, Illinois decided to make his college choice. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound prospect select the Spartans over a host of other BCS programs. SpartanMag.com spoke with him about his choice.

Cooper is one of the top defensive ends in the Midwest for the class of 2013. He burst onto the scene earlier this summer when he was named the top performed at the Sound Mind-Sound Body Camp. At that even Cooper was able to test his skills against offensive lineman like David Dawson, Dennis Finley and Logan Tulley-Tillman. Cooper's athletic ability and quickness off the ball made him very difficult to block.

Cooper followed up that performance by traveling up to East Lansing to take part in the Spartans 1-Day Camp. He was once again outstanding and Head Coach Mark Dantonio offered him a scholarship shortly afterwards. Cooper then traveled to South Ben for camp and the results were again similar as the Irish extend him a scholarship as well. SpartanMag.com asked Cooper about making the call to Michigan State.

I spoke with both Coach Dantonio and Coach Roushar," he said. "They were real excited when I talked with them. They said they had me at the top of the recruiting board and that they were real happy that I am going to be a Spartan."

What was it about Michigan State that made it the place for you?

"The big thing was the coaching staff," Cooper said." They just made me feel like I was part of the family. They are also really serious about winning and competing for championships. The coaches said I will have a chance to come in and compete for playing time right away. I know they are going to play the people that are the best no matter what class they are in. I am going to work hard and hopefully I can come in and play early. Michigan State is just the best fit for me. Now I can focus on my senior season and not worry about it."

Michigan State is not expected to sign a big class for 2013 (15 players). That mean that every scholarship is precious and the staff has worked hard to make sure every prospect they bring in has the ability to keep the Spartans at the top of the Big Ten. Cooper's ability to rush the passer is what made him such a high-level recruit for Coach Dantonio and Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi. The Spartans love to bring the heat and having elite edge rushers is a staple of the Spartan defense.

Cooper plans to be in East Lansing this coming weekend. He is looking forward to spending time with his fellow recruits and watching Michigan State battle against Boise State. We asked him about getting back up to Spartan Stadium to check out his future team play.

"I will be up there this coming weekend for the Boise State game," he said. "I lost my old phone so I am looking forward to talking with all the recruits and players that will be my teammates."

Cooper actually opens his season today at 4PM against Robeson High School at 4PM. SpartanMag.com will be sure to report the result of that contest as well as follow Cooper's play throughout the fall.

Matt Dorsey's Take:

This is an excellent addition for Michigan State. It was imperative that the Spartans add a top flight pass rusher to this class. The top recruits on the board were Cooper and Alec James. Cooper's ability to rush the passer will allow him an opportunity to get a shot at early playing time. As he fills out and gains more sixe and strength he will become an every down Big Ten defensive end. We expect Cooper will end up being in the 6-foot-5, 255-pound range after a year or two with Coach Mannie and at the training table.


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