Iowa would love nothing more than to snag a few players from DeMatha HS (Hyattsville, MD) 2011 class and it might all start with four-star defensive tackle Darian Cooper. The senior is in the process of narrowing down his list to five schools and after talking with HawkeyeInsider.com on Tuesday night, it appears the Hawks will make the cut.
"A few of the guys and I were talking about Iowa today. The opportunity at Iowa is great," said Cooper. "It's definitely a school that I'm looking at. It's a school that has a lot of stuff that I'm looking for. The coaching stability is great, Coach Kirk has been there for a while. Actually quite a few years."
Iowa has only officially offered Cooper's teammate Cyrus Kouandjio (5-star OT and No. 1 nationally), but appear to be evaluating other players as well. If Cooper's teammates are in fact bringing up the Hawkeyes in conversation, this a great sign for Kirk Ferentz and company. If one domino can fall, others might follow. It should also help that Marcus Coker, a former DeMatha player is already an Iowa uniform.
"They are really selling their need for defensive tackles. They have five seniors leaving between the year I come in and after my freshman year," said Cooper. "With that many guys leaving, I know that if I work hard, put my nose to the grindstone, and push myself, I could get out there and really play early.
"I know nothing is never handed to you. I can't get out there and say, well I know with this many defensive tackles leaving I will be the guy, because I'm sure this sales pitch has been used on some other defensive tackles in this class. But, Iowa is definitely somewhere I'm evaluating right now."
Cooper finished his junior season with 10 sacks, helping the Stags go 11-1 in the process. In the last two season, DeMatha is 20-3 overall and look to continue their winning ways starting on September 4th.
"I would say that our defense is going to lead us. We are pretty solid overall, but as of right now we have the most guys returning on defense," said the defensive tackle. "I'm one of the captains on the squad. One of the guys that Coach McGregor looks to be a leader. To make sure things go straight and to make sure the ship is running in the right direction."
Cooper is still in the planning stages of who will be getting his official visits. He is looking at his schedule along with team schedules to maximize his time.
"I'm sitting down with my mom and talking with her about where I want to visit and narrow my list down to five. I think I'm at eight right now," said Cooper. "I haven't set anything in stone, but one school that I have talked about visiting for sure is UCLA. I went out there and visited and had a great time. But, it's a place that I can't just fly to on my leisure. So it's a place that I'm talking to about an official. There is a couple guys out here they are recruiting."
Cooper plans to major in business and reports a 2.6 core GPA and a 1400 three-part SAT.
HawkeyeInsider.com will inform Iowa fans if anything breaks in Cooper's or teammates' recruiting.