Lavocheya Cooper: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with Arp High School head coach Dale Irwin about Lavocheya Cooper, a 6-1, 185-pound athlete from Arp, Texas.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Dale Irwin: He's very athletic, and he's very, very aggressive.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Dale Irwin: As with every small-school kid, just getting used to the size of the campus, going to college class, getting up and having to count on yourself to get yourself up, and just adjusting to the college life.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Dale Irwin: There are several. The one that pops into my mind is one from a scrimmage this year when he just about a tore a kid's spinal cord in half. The kid caught a ball over the middle and he could have intercepted it and took it back all the way but he was wanting the hit. It sounded like a shotgun going off. The kid got up and walked off but we were scared to death there for a while because he absolutely tattooed him.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Dale Irwin: Relentless. Coachable. Aggressive.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Dale Irwin: When he went up there last spring he just loved the campus, and they really did a good job of recruiting him. Of course, they're on TV a lot and he got to watch them all the time. It was several factors, not just one.

What type of impact to you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Dale Irwin: I really expect him to play a lot next year (as a freshman), but that's up to him. If he does what he's capable of he could very easily play next year, returning kicks and punts. I think he can contribute right away.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Dale Irwin: The same thing I tell all of my players, he'd better get his diploma. Unless they can sign a pro contract for a lot of money they'd better get their diploma, and I'm not going to let them forget about it. I stay in contact with all my college kids and call me all the time, and they know that even if they don't get to finish playing ball they're still going to get their diploma. First and foremost is his education.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Dale Irwin: That he's a great athlete but he's also an outstanding young man. He's one of those kids that you want you son to grow up to be like.

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