Cooper is ready, willing and able

A versatile lineman is a luxury four-year schools are always looking to find and one that has played every position along the offensive line for College of DuPage is Ryan Cooper (6-7, 323). Recruiting has been off and on for the big man from Danville, Illinois, but he's hoping things will pick up in January when recruiters can call again.

"I've been a little frustrated to tell you the truth," Cooper told "I was hearing a lot from Southern Mississippi, New Mexico and Illinois, but right now things have really slowed down.

"Illinois brought in a bunch of high school offensive lineman from the Chicago schools this year and Southern Mississippi told me to hold on and they would get back to me after their bowl, so I'm not really sure what's going on right now."

Cooper received All-Region and All-Conference honors for his work along the Chaparrals' offensive line – a group that helped DuPage's offense rank first in passing and second in total offense.

"I played guard last year and then this year our center was having some troubles, so the coaching staff asked me to step in," Cooper said. "I know that my height isn't normal at center, but I was watching the Fresno State-Utah game and FSU has a center that is like 6-5 so it isn't out of the question for me to play there."

Cooper said he's happy to play anywhere a school wants him to play, but he thinks he'll probably end up at tackle.

"My footspeed really improved over the summer and into this year," Cooper said. "I worked really hard on mat-drills and by jumping rope and it really helped me in my pass-blocking."

Cooper boasts a 5.5 forty time and a 340-pound bench press and said his strength is another area he's continuing to work on.

"I want to get a lot stronger and I'm working toward that," Cooper acknowledged. "I'll keep working on it until I can push anyone around that I face off against."

Cooper prepped at Schlarman High School in Illinois and said because of the size of his school, few colleges really looked his way.

"I graduated with 48 people so you as you can imagine, very few schools even looked my way," Cooper said. "I decided to come to DuPage because of the staff and because I wanted to get here and earn a D-1 offer.

"I think I'll be able to do it. My coaches said to just be patient and to work hard and it will pay off eventually."

Because he was a full-qualifier out of high school, Cooper can leave whenever he receives an offer he wants to take so he's hopeful something comes up so he can be on campus for spring ball with three years to play two seasons.

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