Cooperwood clocked in

Not only does the InsideTennessee staff get to every practice and football game for the Tennessee Volunteers, it also makes its way out to see high school prospects targeted by the Vols. Sign in or subscribe now to read more about this sophomore.

While National Signing Day for Class of 2014 prospects is still many moons away, Tennessee already has natural ties to a host of talented recruits.

Players like Elliot Berry, Evan Berry, Todd Kelly Jr. and Vic Wharton all have ties to the Big Orange as their fathers were all former Volunteers. Then, there's Akeem Cooperwood, who plays his high school ball at Fulton, which is less than 4 miles from the shadows of Neyland Stadium.

As a 6-foot-9, 330-pound offensive tackle, Cooperwood is undoubtedly on Tennessee's radar. However, his recruitment has slowed some since UT brought in seven new assistant coaches over the winter.

The gentle giant is currently bench pressing 295 pounds and squatting 415. Given his nature, size, position and certain similarities in his family life, some have told Cooperwood that they are reminded of Michael Oher, the current Baltimore Raven whose life was depicted in the film "The Blind Side."

The Falcon blocker admitted he didn't grow up a die hard fan of the Big Orange, but he can see how being a Volunteer may be attractive.

"I'd like to go to Tennessee because it's in my hometown," Cooperwood told InsideTennessee. "My friends and family are here and everything."

Other schools showing interest in him include Florida, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. He said he plans to camp on The Hill this summer.

While Cooperwood is hoping to start getting scholarship offers before too long, he isn't wasting any time trying to improve himself.

"Right now I'm really just working out and getting more flexible," he said. "I'm going to try to drop down some (weight-wise) too."

Cooperwood, who attends the same school as former Vol Dennis Rogan, provided a look at what he brings to the table along the offensive front.

"Right now I'm a really really good pass blocker," said Cooperwood, who noted that he needs to improve his run blocking, footwork and getting low.

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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