Learning The Game

Willie Cooper is a redshirt freshman safety from St. Augustine High School. Last year Cooper traveled with the team as a redshirt, but did not play in any games. This year Cooper is fighting for playing time specifically in nickel and dime situations.

Cooper along with Marcus Maxey, Terrell Walden, Tanard Davis, and Travarous Bain are competing for playing time for essential one position assuming Glenn Sharpe can return to form in August after an ACL injury.

Cooper, a strong safety, is currently the back up to junior Greg Threat. Threat has had a great performance in spring workouts and in practices.

"I played free safety in high school, but I feel real comfortable at strong safety now. Wherever they need to be play I will feel comfortable playing there."

Spring practices began on March 23 and will conclude with the spring game on April 17.

"Things have been going all right. We have been practicing hard and getting in shape to be ready for the fall."

On Friday, April 2 the Hurricanes had a scrimmage at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale that was open to the public.

"It went all right. The offense did well. The defense did well. We will look at film to see what we need to progress on."

The defensive backs held the passing game to 13 of 33 (39%) with 205 yards with 72 yards coming on one play.

"We did great. We did a good job communicating out there. We were calling calls and everyone was on the same page out there. Everyone was helping each other."

In the scrimmage Cooper recorded five tackles including four for a loss finishing second amongst defensive backs behind Threat.

"It was more encouraging to get out here and compete. We haven't had a scrimmage in a while. Guys were out there running around and hustling. Everyone is competing for a job out there. It is man for man, we are just going at it."

Spring practices are a good time for younger players to develop and earn quality repetitions. Cooper is looking to improve his overall game to earn playing time on the defensive side of the ball. He will be key component on special teams especially on kickoff coverage.

"I am always working on getting stronger, faster, and improving my footwork. Just learning the game better."

In the off-season Cooper shed some pounds and improved his muscle weight. He currently stands at 6-1 and weighs 200 pounds.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@grassy.com.

Canes Time Top Stories