Fort Collins High School offensive lineman Jon Cooper was not on a lot of radars just over a month ago. It is certainly not for lack of ability, as this staunch 6-foot-3 275-pounder is expected to be a serious prospect out of the Rocky Mountain state. Running a reported 4.95 40-yard dash, Cooper also has the attitude to play in the trenches.
"When you play inside, you have to play with the attitude that you don't take any prisoners," Cooper said. "It's like you want to hurt them and you don't stop until that whistle blows."
Cooper received his first scholarship offer just more than a month ago and he has been enjoying steadily increasing attention ever since. "It's been great," Cooper said. "I guess I had some expectations, but nothing like this."
"I guess it's like a reward for hard work," Cooper said. "But, it's not like I think of myself as good or anything. I just work hard, play hard and I guess they like what they see."
What they see or what Cooper expects them to see is a player that takes his position pretty seriously.
"I'm aggressive and go 100 percent every play," Cooper said. "I don't know how anyone can be playing and not go right up until the whistle blows. But, I'm also very smart out there and I know how to finish a block."
Cooper's combination of physical skills and mentality for the game has led to his blossoming reputation. So much so that aside from the offers he currently has, Cooper stated that he is receiving particularly strong interest that could lead to offers from schools like Kansas State, USC and Colorado.
"I've got the offers now and I might get a few more," Cooper said. "So, that gives me some options, but I want to make sure I look at every school out there so that I make the best choice for my future."
Cooper will be attending a few camps this summer, the first being a team camp at Chadron State in Nebraska. The other two camps will be a two-day and a one-day camp at Iowa State and the University of Iowa, respectively. As for any other possible unofficial visits, Cooper is undecided at this time.
About the only thing Cooper is sure about right now is that it is time to look ahead to his last year of prep football, rather than scrutinizing all of his offers.
"It's something I am trying to put in the back of my mind right now," Cooper said. "We have 16 starters coming back and have a strong chance at a state-title run, so that's what really has to get my focus.
"I've got the offers and I might get more, so now I just need to think about my team and finishing my career off strong."
A version of this story was originally published on HuskerConnection.com