Darian Cooper is considered to be one of the nation's best rising senior defensive tackles and NC State is high on his list.
Pack Pride caught up with the 6-1, 290-pound prospect from Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha, that acclaimed football and basketball factory known around the nation, and Cooper had plenty of nice things to say about NC State.
It's too early for Cooper to talk about leaders, though at times he has spoken more about some schools than others, but it is clear NC State is a school he is taking very seriously and not merely paying lip service to.
"I talked with coach Willis, the defensive line coach, not too long ago," Cooper said. "A lot of people around here are preaching NC State to me, telling me about how great a school it is. With that said I'm looking at NC State.
"I haven't visited down there yet but I definitely want to towards the end of the summer. I'll probably go out to Georgia Tech in a little while, and Michigan State. NC State's another one of the schools I want to get to."
Cooper, ranked the No. 23 defensive tackle in the nation and a four-star prospect overall by Scout.com, doesn't plan on making a decision any time soon. That much is clear.
"I'm still trying to narrow my list down but I haven't made any official cuts yet," he said. "I am trying to narrow my list though. I want to take my official visits in the fall. I plan on having a top five by the end of the summer.
"The biggest thing for me will be having a strong family base and a place where the coaching staff is really strong. Just a place that feels like home, you know? I've been at DeMatha and there's a strong brotherhood here. I want to go someplace where the people are great and the community is strong."
Cooper will also be considering things such as defensive scheme and how he will fit into each school's game plan.
"Georgia Tech is one school that has told me they're gonna put the best three defensive linemen on the field. They said I could be a defensive end or a nose guard, but it will be whatever makes me more effective. They understand I've played in a 3-4 before, so I'm comfortable playing whatever."
Cooper said he has not set up any official visits or determined where he would like to take those trips just yet.
Pack After Blue-Chip Defensive Tackle
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