Maryland Competing for Cooper

Where do the Terps stand with 2011 4-star DT Darien Cooper?

Dematha Catholic High School’s Darien Cooper knows what he wants in a college, “I am looking for a strong family base. A place where I can develop not only as a player but as a man.” The University of Maryland might be that place, “I’m very interested in Maryland,” Cooper explained.


The 6-foot-1, 290-pound defensive tackle said that Maryland’s offer has jumped out at him. He has received a number of offers from top-notch universities including Maryland, Penn State, UCLA, Iowa, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia, N.C. State, and Eastern Carolina.


Although he has received this long list of offers, Cooper was adamant about how the Maryland coaches have sold him on the school. “They definitely threw a nice sales pitch at me,” said Cooper.


Over the past year, Cooper has become very close with the Maryland coaches. “They have been very honest with their situation, and I can respect that,” Cooper stated. “They have told me the situation in which they are coming from and the direction in which they plan on heading.”


The coaching staff has been very impressed with the defensive tackle. Cooper spoke with defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo, and offensive line coach Tom Brattan on his recent visit to College Park. He also spoke to head coach Ralph Friegdan as recently as two weeks ago on the phone. The coaches expressed their affection toward the recruit, telling him that they like that he is a Maryland kid, and that they were impressed with his well rounded personality. They also told him that they enjoyed his family, whom they have met on numerous occasions.


On the field, the defensive tackle has been dominating opponents since he began his tenure at Dematha. “His toughness and quickness off the ball is what sets him apart,” said Will Mcgregor, head coach of Dematha. “He wants to be the best one out there, he works extremely hard.”


Right now Cooper is, “Just trying to be a regular guy.” However, he is spending his summer working on improving his 4.9-second 40-yard dash speed, as well as enhancing his strength and quickness. He is also watching film of the NFL’s premiere defensive linemen, “I’m a fan of talent,” said Cooper. “I might steal a few moves from Dwight Freeney, Michael Strahan, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy.”


Cooper expects many teams to continue to pursue him, but does not believe many schools will excite him as much as Maryland does. More than anything, Cooper has been extremely impressed with the respect Maryland has shown him, “The fact that they keep in frequent contact with me shows that what they are saying, and their interest in me, is more than simply words. ”

TerrapinTimes Top Stories