Unsung Hero

Senior OT Fahn Cooper is a natural right tackle, but since he has been at Ole Miss, he has had to fill in frequently for injured or shelved Left Tackle Laremy Tunsil. That's not as easy as it sounds, but Cooper takes it in stride.

"Last year, L.T. went down with injury and I was moved to left tackle without ever having practiced there. That was difficult," Cooper smiled. "This year, Coach (Matt) Luke took out some insurance early in August practice and worked me at left tackle, just in case, a lot. That's made it easier for me this time around.

"I am much more comfortable at left tackle this year than I was last year."

That has shown in his play as well, as he has graded highly in all three of the Rebs' games thus far, including going against "big, strong, fast guys" at Alabama.

"Last year, I had problems with the plays because everything is backwards, but that's easy this time around. The footwork is the most difficult part because it is totally different, but, again, I'm used to it now," said Fahn, a 6-5, 305-pounder.

"Alabama is a lot like us. They rotate a lot of different defensive linemen, so every series, it seemed like, I was blocking a different guy, but our DL prepared me for that. I watched film of last year's game with them and then watched film of this year's game with them and I am a lot better. I still have plenty to work on, but I am definitely better."

Fahn loved every second of the big match as well.

"I transferred from three schools to get to this level because I love competition. This is the ultimate. That game is why you come to Ole Miss - to play in the SEC. It's not the Sun Belt Conference, no offense to them," he stated.

Cooper has not been concerned with the musical chairs that have been taking place on the offensive line what with injuries and L.T.'s situation.

"I don't even realize who is out there half the time," he said. "I have faith in everyone in our room. Every single one of the guys playing has prepared for this season. They have worked hard and they have been humble and they have earned their playing time.

"I never feel like we are going into a game less than full strength because I know the guys out there can do the job. When we break down our huddle, or saying is, 'we are all we've got, we are all we need.' We believe that. The chemistry was developed last year. This year, it's been easy to build on that chemistry."

Cooper has been next to Left Guard Javon Patterson, a freshman that Fahn admires and respects.

"He's humble and a hard worker. He's not afraid to ask questions and learn," Cooper noted. "He came into the Alabama game with a lot of savvy and confidence. He was not intimidated. He was not big-eyed. None of our young guys were - Sean (Rawlings), Big Jordan (Sims), Javon. . . all were great, especially for their first time in that type of environment.

"Those are really great kids. They work hard, they prepare day by day by day the way you are supposed to and they get themselves ready for whatever they are going to face so that when it's time to face it, they are prepared to produce. I really like all those kids."

Fahn is not concerned with a letdown after the big win in Tuscaloosa.

"We treat every game like it is a big deal. It's about doing our thing regardless of who we are playing. The opponent doesn't matter - we want to do what we do and see how many points we can score," he explained. "Vandy is kind of like a rivalry game because we know they are going to come in here ready to give us their best. If I am not mistaken, Ole Miss has a losing record to Vandy over the last decade.

"We will not take them for granted."

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