Cooper Looking to Narrow List

Hyatsville (Mary.) DeMatha defensive tackle Darian Cooper has over 20 offers to choose from, including one from UCLA, and he's looking to narrow his list that spans the country...

Darian Cooper, the 6-foot-1, 290-pound three-star defensive tackle from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., says he now has over 20 scholarship offers and still isn't ready to name a top five.

"I'm still traveling and looking at things," Cooper said. "I'll see some more schools before I name a top five. But I want to go into the season with a top five, so it won't be much longer. Then I'll be cutting it down along the season."

Cooper, ranked as the No. 24 defensive tackle in the country by, has already visited East Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, UCLA and USC, and has offers from all of them except USC. "They wanted me to come out to their camp and compete," he said about the Trojans. "But I doubt I'll be able to make it back out there."

He says the Trojans are still in the mix even though they have not offered and were sanctioned by the NCAA. "The sanctions are tough," he said about the NCAA ruling. "But USC is bound to compete again. They're still getting great recruits and will bounce back."

This summer Cooper also plans on visiting North Carolina State, Georgia Tech and Michigan State and those three have already offered.

On Friday, July 9, Cooper will be attending a Virginia Tech camp and hopes the Hokies come through with an offer. "I'll be competing for that scholarship," he said.

"I really like the head coach (Frank Beamer)," he said about Virginia Tech. "I liked talking with him and he says they're really interested in me. He's a real up-tempo guy and is always smiling. I just got a good vibe from him.

"Tech is a good program and I just need to check them out for myself," he said.

The only spring game that Cooper was able to attend was East Carolina's. "(Defensive tackles) coach Marc Yellock and (head) coach Ruffin McNeill are great," he said. "It's a strong family program and I like the small town feel. Everyone knows each other there. I also have a lot of family all over North Carolina."

Some of the other schools that have offered Cooper are West Virginia, Penn State, Illinois, Marshall, Clemson, Duke, Purdue, UCF, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"I want to go into a strong family base," he said. "I want to play for guys that will help make me a better man overall.

"I also want a strong networking base for my future business endeavors and be at a place that feels homey," he said.

Cooper plans to major in business and reports a 2.6 core GPA and a 1400 three-part SAT.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories