Cooper Talks About Decision

Jamal Cooper talks about keeping the St. Louis connection alive with his decision to come to Wisconsin.

With visits to UCLA and Kansas State set for January, Jamal Cooper's parents were a little surprised when he called Sunday afternoon to let them know the big news. He had just met with Coach Barry Alvarez and given him a verbal commitment before returning home.

Cooper said committing to the Badgers was in the back of his mind if his visit went well, but his parents thought he would go through the rest of his visits. He had been to Illinois the previous weekend, and felt he saw everything he needed to see.

"I was thinking about committing already," Cooper said. "It was really between Wisconsin and Illinois…Wisconsin was really nice. I liked the atmosphere, the coaches, the players and everything."

Cooper, who was hosted by another former Hazelwood East star, Brandon Williams, said he is excited to keep the ever-growing St. Louis connection alive.

"All of us talk to each other a lot," Cooper said. "Brandon said people there will watch out for you, it's a good place to be and it's a family atmosphere."

While Cooper could end up playing tight end, he said for the time being the Badgers are looking at him as a rush defensive end.

"Coach (John) Palermo said they will probably use me there because I'm so fast coming off the edge," Cooper said.

Cooper said one of the biggest factors in his decision was seeing people like Jamar Fletcher go from high school to Wisconsin and straight to the pros.

"I know when I go there, I'm going to get bigger, stronger and faster, and I will have a chance to go to the pros," Cooper said. "Wisconsin gives me a chance to get to the next level."

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