RECRUITING: OU has Colorado center's attention

Sooners enter the race for Ft. Collins, Colo. center Jon Cooper. Is it too little too late?


The state of Colorado has always produced outstanding offensive linemen, and another that is beginning to get outstanding play among college coaches is Jon Cooper. Jon is a three-year starter where he played guard his sophomore year, tackle his junior season and center this year.

"I really don't know where I am going to play in college," said Cooper. "I felt I needed to learn how to snap the ball because I have been told by Jeff and Al Byers that if I could learn to snap the ball, then playing guard will be essentially the same in college without the snap."

Cooper can bench 380 pounds, squats 505 and he has posted a 29-inch vertical jump.

"The vertical jump is very important to an offensive linemen," said Cooper. "It shows his explosiveness and his agility."

Cooper went to the Iowa State and Iowa summer camps and felt that he did well at both games dominating in most one-on-one sessions. Thus far this season, Ft. Collins is 2-1 and Cooper has performed well in the three games grading out at 95 and 91 percent.

Cooper has been offered by 10 schools thus far and he is still working to narrow his choices down.

"I almost had my choices down until Oklahoma came and offered, and I had to put them in the mix," said Cooper. "I am trying to set my officials, but that has been kind of tough. I am already official set to visit Iowa State (10-9) and I am very close to setting a visit Oklahoma (10-23). I am also considering officials for Missouri, Cal, Iowa, Wisconsin and Oklahoma State. I am not going to take an official to Colorado State because they are right up the road, but I am going to take in some games."

The Sooners just recently offered and now are solid contenders.

"All I know is what I have seen on TV and researched on the internet," said Cooper. "Coach (Bob) Stoops is great, the coaches are first rate and I love Coach (Kevin) Wilson. He came by the school the other day and he was a great guy to talk to. Then they are an amazing program because they always win and they are always playing for the National Championship.

"I am considering OU very seriously. They are very fresh on my mind right now and I am thinking about them all the time. I really can't tell my total interest until I go and see the place. I need to have a visual about where I will be living the next four to five years. Once I see their program in person I can tell you a lot more about my feelings towards the program."

Jon's dad is Tom Cooper, who played defensive line for Missouri in the early to mid 70's.

Cooper has qualified.

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