Coop in the Loop at Penn State

Pennsylvania three-star linebacker has been a strong advocate for the Lions' Class of 2015. He recently spent the weekend at University Park.

Jake Cooper has done plenty of work since verbally committing to Penn State, both on the field and off of it.

The Warminster, Pa., Archbishop Wood senior linebacker was the sixth pledge in a Class of 2015 that now stands at 17 members. A three-star prospect, Cooper has had a hand in landing many of those that came after, all while working to get his body to an ideal playing weight.

"Things have been well," Cooper said. "Just lots of working out football-wise trying to get better; lot of footwork stuff to become faster and stronger in the weight room. It's a big off-season for me in there."

Cooper was up around 240 pounds at one point this spring, but didn't feel comfortable running. He's since slimmed to around 230, and is aiming to play his senior year between 230 and 235 pounds.

His senior season is a few months away, though, so there is still some time to kick back and relax. He took advantage of a weekend trip to University Park last Saturday and Sunday to do so, as he spent the day at the Lasch barbecue Saturday before watching the Lions' Senior Elite II camp Sunday.

"It was a phenomenal experience," he said of Saturday's gathering. "I really appreciated the coaches having everybody out and participating in an event like that, especially getting together with your future teammates.

"It was a great time. All the coaches were together [and] future recruits were there, so we got to talk to them and things like that."

The event was akin to a graduation party in a sense, what with a pie-eating contest, musical chairs, Wiffle ball and other backyard events headlining the day.

It was also a tremendous recruiting opportunity for head coach James Franklin's Nittany Lions, and a pair of uncommitted seniors — four-star tackle Christian Wilkins and four-star corner John Reid — were front and center for Cooper and others to extend a pitch.

"He's awesome; a great kid, funny and tremendous athlete," Cooper said of Wilkins. "I watched him do a back flip in front of everybody. Three hundred and some pounds doing a back flip … that's a big boy.

"I got a chance to talk to John Reid, and he's another big-time guy. He showed up, so I got a good opportunity to talk to him for a little while."

"I got a chance to talk to John Reid, and he's another big-time guy. He showed up, so I got a good opportunity to talk to him for a little whlle."

Cooper is looking into another trip to University Park before his and his future team's preseason camp begins. He said his goal is to grow between now and then, both physically and mentally.

Adding a few more future teammates would be a plus, too.

"I want to get bigger and faster; that's never a bad thing," he said. "Just become the biggest, baddest guy that you can be.

"For Penn State, I just want to become a mental advocate of the game and be involved in the game so well mentally that it's going to be hard not to do my job because I know so well what is going on. I want to be smart on the field and stuff like that."

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