Cooley Signs Gophers LOI

The Gophers gained a junior college defensive back this week when Duran Cooley signed his letter of intent to play for Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football program announced that Duran Cooley from Reedley Junior College in Reedley, Calif., signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Gophers next season.

Cooley, a 6-0, 205-pound defensive back helped lead his junior college team to an 11-1 record and a Central Valley Conference Championship in 2005 while being named CVC first-team all-conference. He was a three-time conference Player of the Week this past season and finished the year with 75 tackles, 13 pass breakups, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one blocked punt for a touchdown.

Cooley originally signed with Boise State following his high school career at Los Angeles Cathedral High and spent two seasons with the Broncos. A two-time All-City selection in high school, he recorded 65 tackles during his senior year, in addition to four interceptions and six forced fumbles. He also returned two kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns as he was named his team's defensive most valuable player. In his junior year, Cooley produced nine interceptions, with four returned for touchdowns.

Cooley was an outstanding athlete in high school lettering in football, track and basketball. He was a three time all-league performer, was named Cathedral High School's most outstanding defensive back, and was the player of the game on four occasions. As a senior, he had 65 tackles, four interceptions, forced six fumbles, and returned two kicks and two punts for touchdowns while being named the team's defensive most valuable player. As a junior, Cooley made 50 tackles, intercepted nine passes, returning four for touchdowns, forced six fumbles and had 310 yards receiving. As a sophomore, he made 54 tackles, had eight interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, and had 600 yards receiving. In track, he was all-league in the 400 meters, triple jump, and 4x100 meter relay. He was member of the honor roll as a junior and participated in ROTC, student body government, and WLCAC. His high school football coach was Kevin Pearson.

With the addition of Cooley, Minnesota has now signed 21 players to NLIs during this year's signing period. Nineteen players signed with Minnesota on Feb. 1, while Daron Love from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., signed with the Gophers earlier this month. Cooley is scheduled to enroll at Minnesota this summer.

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