July 30, 2012

Spartans close to adding top DE

One of the top players on the recruiting board for Head Coach Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans is defensive end Demetrius Cooper of Julian High School in Chicago. SpartanMag.com caught up with the 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospects and got the latest details on his recruitment.

Michigan State is looking to add a pass rush specialist to the class of 2013 and they have narrowed their focus down to a few select players. One of those players is Cooper who shined at the Michigan State Elite Player Camp and was offered a scholarship shortly afterwards.

Cooper's strong performance at the Michigan State Camp came on the heels of his being named the top performer at the Sound Mind-Sound Body Camp held in Southfield, Michigan. At that event Cooper was able to go up against multiple high-level offensive tackle prospects and more than held his own. Rivals.com analyst Josh Helmholdt had the following to say about Cooper:

"1. DE Demetrius Cooper, Chicago Julian The top prospects in the offensive line and defensive line groups were each very strong and very close in terms of performance, but Cooper gets the nod because stayed for the entire duration of the two-day event. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Cooper is explosive off the edge and also showed to be stronger than we first saw from him earlier this spring. He knows how to use his hands and his length to beat away blocks from opposing linemen."

Not long after receiving an offer from Michigan State Cooper traveled to South Bend to Camp at Notre Dame. He again had a strong performance and the Fighting Irish subsequently extend him a scholarship. Cooper also holds offers from Purdue, Iowa State as well as a host of other MAC programs.

Michigan State is tight on scholarships for the class of 2013 and Cooper is one of the top players left on the Spartan board. We asked him about his thoughts on Michigan State.

"My thoughts on Michigan State are high," he said. "Michigan State knows talent that is very underrated and I am an example of that. I am a player that has skills and is good enough to play at the highest level. Michigan State knows that, and that is why they gave me an offer."

The underrated aspect that Cooper is referring to is due to the fact that he is currently an un-ranked recruit in the rivals.com database. Cooper's ranking will be sure to change next month when Rivals updates the database. Cooper should get 4-star consideration considering the offers he picked up at the camps he attended as well as his performance at Sound Mind-Sound Body. Keep in mind at that camp he was able to showcase his talents against David Dawson, Logan Tulley-Tillman and Dennis Finley.

Cooper went on to say the following about the Spartans chances with him.

"As far as the Michigan State program I like the roster they have and the fact that if I come and do well I will have a chance to play early," Cooper said. "They run a defense that fits right into my game. The defense is made for someone like me who wants to make plays. Yes it (Michigan State) is the place to be. I just need some time to think about my decision."

Michigan State does not pressure recruits into a decision so they certainly are excited to know that that they could add Cooper in the near future. The only risk for Cooper would be if another player decided to grab the scholarship spot. Players like Alec James of Wisconsin and Ruben Dunbar of Illinois are two other defensive ends that are seriously considering the Spartans.

It may just be a matter of Cooper getting back up to Michigan State with his family for a final decision to come. Cooper talked about his fall plans.

"Yes I plan on getting back up there soon," he stated. "I might get back up there before their first game or for the first game. Depending on how that visit goes I might make my decision after that. If not that day it will be shortly after that."

This past weekend Cooper was down in Columbus checking out the Ohio State program. Cooper did not particpate in the Friday Night Lights Camp, but he did tour the facilities and talk with the coaches. We asked him about that visit.

"It was cool," he said. "I had a good time. I was able to meet a lot of the recruits from around the country and I met one of the Ohio State commitments, Joey Bosa."

Ohio State loaded up at defensive end last year so it is not a position of need for the Buckeyes the way it is for the Spartans in 2013. In addition, Michigan State, led by primary recruiter Dan Roushar, is being much more active in Cooper's recruitment.

SpartanMag.com will be sure to keep in contact with Cooper in the coming weeks. It is obvious he is a high-level recruit for the staff. Michigan State may only be able to take 1 defensive end in this class and they want to make sure whoever they get can be a difference-maker at the next level.

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