UNC Pursuing Ga. Linebacker

Cedrick Cooper received a phone call from Everett Withers, North Carolina's defensive coordinator, last week.

"He left me a message," Cooper said. "He was letting me know that I need to come see them – come see them play, come for an official visit, come look around and see how I like it."

However, Cooper, a 6-foot-3, 202-pound linebacker from Lithonia (Ga.), hasn't had time to return any calls in-season.

"I've been real busy with my season," Cooper said. "I haven't been calling [coaches] lately."

The lack of a return call doesn't mean Cooper isn't interested in UNC.

"Of course I'm interested," Cooper said. "I haven't really done my research yet, but I saw [UNC] play [against LSU]. The defense is a real good defense – they go after the ball, they're 100-percent all the time. I liked how hard they go."

Like most schools, UNC discovered Cooper during the Evaluation Period. The Tar Heels offered him a scholarship a couple of weeks later, after they finally obtained a copy of his film.

In addition to UNC, Cooper has received offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Kentucky, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Cooper isn't favoring any schools and is considering each school that has offered him.

"I'm going to take it step-by-step, slowly, and take my time," Cooper said.

The first step Cooper will take is taking all five of his official visits. Although no trips have been scheduled, he says Clemson and UNC will be among his official trips.

"[Clemson and UNC] interest me the most," Cooper said. "I've visited Clemson before, but I haven't been to North Carolina."

Towards the middle of the season, Cooper plans to begin taking official visits. He's looking to take at least a couple during the football season.

Cooper plans to wait until Signing Day to make his college decision.

"I plan on doing my research, making sure I've met all the coaches, make sure I get a good vibe from the coaches, [check out] their facilities, see what their graduation rate is, [and] make sure everybody's priorities are straight," Cooper said.

Cooper is a four-year starter at Lithonia. He began his prep career as tight end and wide receiver. But when he outgrew those positions during the preseason of his junior year, he was moved exclusively to linebacker in Lithonia's 5-2 defense.

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