Catching Up With Cooper Washington

This time around Sooners Illustrated caught up with Cooper Washington, three-star defensive end out of Muleshoe HS in Texas. SI was able to get a hold of Washington for the first time since he announced his commitment to the Sooners back in May. Check inside for part one of the interview to see what Washington had to say.

Cooper Washington starts at defensive end for Muleshoe, which is where he will play when he arrives in Norman, and is also the starting quarterback for the Mules this season. It's not often you hear that combination where a player who will play defensive end in college plays quarterback for his team in high school.

Be that as it may, the 6-foot-4 and 225-pound Washington has obviously done a great job being the signal caller as well as taking care of his duties at defensive end, leading his team to a 9-1 record during the season and a first round bye in the playoffs.

Playing quarterback at Oklahoma is something Washington says he would do if that's what Head Coach Bob Stoops requested of him.

"That's up to Stoops," Washington said when asked if he would play quarterback for the Sooners. "I'm down for it. If he wants to put me there I will play there. Quarterback is pretty fun. It's a tough job though. You have to know everything, like where the linemen are going. And if the play doesn't work then it's on your head.""It is a stressful job. It's not bad though. I enjoy playing it. I'd play it next year if he let me or not. I'd play backup quarterback."

Oklahoma defensive ends Coach Bobby Jack Wright probably wouldn't like the idea of Washington moving to offense. Coach Wright is back coaching the defensive ends after being the secondary coach the last few years for the Sooners.

When talking about Coach Wright, Washington has quite the funny comparison for his future position coach.

"He kind of seems like an uncle," Washington stated. "Like one of those real funny uncles that you always see on Thanksgiving. He has a good personality. He is good to talk to. I enjoy it when he calls and we have a pretty good conversation once every week maybe. I look forward to getting coached up by him is what he says. He says he is going to coach me up."

The Sooners currently stand at 8-2 on the season with two tough losses on the road but even with the struggles Washington's future teammates have had this year, Washington still likes what he sees.

"Well they started off good," Washington began about the Sooners season so far. "You win some and you lose some. They are kind of a young team. Experience is the best. I like what I see, I like the way they are coached. They are very well coached."

"Just sometimes a play doesn't go your way. They lost to Texas A&M and Missouri but other than those two games they have played great. They click as a team and they know each other's ups and downs. All looks good to me so far."

At the beginning of the season Washington took his official visit to see Oklahoma take on Air Force. Washington talked about how the visit went for him.

"We saw them play Air Force," Washing began. "It was a fun experience. We drove up there; I think it was like seven hours. We met Nathan Hughes, Max Stevenson and Brandon Williams and all those guys. We went and talked to the coaches and got to know everybody. Friday we saw their warm up thing, I don't know what they call it, the day before the game and that was pretty cool. We watched their defensive ends work out and got to see what they did.""We stayed in a hotel and I had candy and stuff in my room. I had my own room which I've never had. It was a nice hotel. It was a fun game and it was hot that game."

During his official visit Washington had two hosts, one for each night.

"One night it was Geneo Grissom and the other night it was Tom Wort. It was awesome."

When it came time to make a decision for Washington on what college he would attend having family members that were Sooner fans definitely seemed to weigh on Oklahoma gaining the defensive ends commitment.

"Most of my family are OU fans," Washington explained. "It seemed like a pretty good college and pretty good place to play at because of national championships and I got to talk on the phone with the coaches. It just seemed like the best place for me."

Last weekend the Muleshoe Mules had a bye week in the first round of the playoffs, which according to Washington is a good chance for the team to get healthy before starting their run to a state title.

"The playoffs, we are just going to take it one game at a time I think. Like any other game we'll get prepared. Maybe we will prepare a little better and everybody will take their vitamins and get healthy."

Through 10 games this season at quarterback Washington is 145-228-passing, for 1,947-yards to go along with 27-touchdowns and 11-interceptions. Washington also has 89-carries for 666-yards and 8-touchdowns rushing so far.

On the defensive side of the ball Washington has 52-total tackles, 31 of them being solo. He has 14-tackles for loss with six-sacks and 17-quarterback hurries. Washington has caused a fumble, intercepted a pass that he took back to the house and has four-balls batted down.

Stay tuned to Sooners Illustrated as we will be bringing you part two of the interview where we talked with Muleshoe's head coach - Coach David Wood - about Washington.

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