GBW At Thu. Practice: Marques Slocum's HS Coach

GoBlueWolverine Magazine chatted at length during Thurday's U.S. Army East Team practice with Will Cooper, assistant coach at Philadelphia West Catholic and long-time coach and mentor of lineman <b>Marques Slocum.</b><br><br> Cooper talked about Slocum's grades, his weight reduction, his performance, and his upcoming decision.<br><br>

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Marques Slocum (No. 75) lines up for drills during Thursday's U.S. Army All-American East practice. Fellow East team memeber James McKinney is in the background.
Will Cooper is an assistant coach at Philadelphia West Catholic, and a mentor to defensive/offensive lineman Marques Slocum (Dec. 10 U-M official visit, PSU Nike stats: 6-6, 330 lbs., 5.09 in the 40 ... 300 lb. bench press). Here are a few of the things Coach Cooper told us:

Regarding Marques' Grades:

"I've coached Marcus since he was in the 8th grade. We came over to West Catholic from Bishop Neumann last year, Marcus and two of his teammates. Marcus' mom originally wanted him at Bishop Neumann because it's an all boy's school, but they were letting Marcus slide by academically there and he got lazy. At West Catholic they push him and he's doing much better.

"His core GPA was a 1.8 last spring, but it's a 2.3 now, and there are two more courses he has C's in that he can bring up to B's. And he got an 820 SAT on his first try on his SAT, and he'll take it again the end of this month. So Marcus has gotten his academics in order and he'll qualify."

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Slocum holds off the rush during drills at Thursday's East practice. Will he be at Michigan next fall?
Regarding Marques' weight and future position:

"Marquise was up over 330 pounds when you saw him at the Penn State Nike camp this spring. But he wants to play on the defensive line in college so he's really gotten himself in shape -- he's at 310 now and will get down to 300. Michigan is recruiting him for the defensive line -- Coach Sheridan was by the home last Tuesday, the night of the National Championship game. Coach Sheridan has shown us their depth chart at defensive line; after next season it's pretty open."

Note: Marques said he lost the weight by, "I'm just not putting much food in my body anymore. I eat a lot of salads and things like that."

Regarding Marques' decision, Coach Cooper said:

"It's down to Michigan and Michigan State for him, and he'll announce his decision next Wednesday."

By the way, Marques has told other players that he has made up his mind and just waiting to announce it on Wednesday.

And finally, Coach Cooper said of the Rose Bowl, "That was an exciting game! We almost won it, didn't we!"

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Slocum hangs out with other players during Thursday's U.S. Army All-American Game Media Day held at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Slocum is second from the left.
Note: Slocum is one of the surprises of the week for the East team. He is easily the most agile of the East's offensive linemen, and he won a starting spot at offensive guard, beating out 'super-prospect' Dace Richardson, But as the days have gone by he has also taken more and more snaps as a defensive line as well ... so he'll start on one side of the ball or the other; as Marques told us, "They haven't told me which side I'd end up on yet." As far as how it feels to shine over some of the more famous O-Line prospects on the East Team, Slocum just gave us a knowing grin and said, "I'm still the one guy that's not well known out there ... but that's okay with me, the results are what counts."

Photos by Don Hoekwater / GoBlueWolverine.com Staff

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