DeJaun Cooper: 2022 Pro Prospect Interview

Name: DeJaun Cooper
School: South Dakota
Position: LB

Height: 6’2”
Weight: 230

What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?

For my final collegiate season, I set one of my main goals to be the best teammate and version of myself. After graduating from Monmouth University and transferring to South Dakota it was a fresh start for me and an opportunity I had to play in arguably the toughest conference in FCS. Before South Dakota I played for a chance to win the Big South conference every single year, becoming a two-time Big South Champion my final two years there. The goal stayed the same at South Dakota playing for a chance for a Missouri Valley championship, unfortunately falling short to NDSU. 

Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?

The extra year of eligibility was extremely beneficial to a lot of athletes. I am always thankful for the second chance that was given when my senior fall senior year 2020 was cancelled. I took advantage of the extra year of eligibility by taking a chance and challenging myself to play somewhere else for my final year. Playing against the best of the best was my intention in the process and to help increase my chances and goals of going pro. I was able to develop even more than I already did and being a 5th year senior was good from a leadership role. 

Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?

What my coaches and teammates would say about the type of player I am would have to be a person who is going to work extremely hard at what they do. Someone who will do anything they can to help the team be successful. Finally, they would say someone who loves the game and is deeply passionate about it! 

Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?

When studying film, I like watching myself in practice/games to see what I could do better on such as dropping into coverage, rushing the passer and on my assignment. As far as watching my opponents, I like to study tendencies and imagine myself against the person in front of me. I also like to pick up different formations that they like to run as well. Film is important in the game of football and knowing your opponent can allow you to be ahead of the game. 

Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?

What separates me from other prospects in my position is the ability to run sideline to sideline. I am an athletic linebacker who can run, I am available to all special teams and can make an impact there. Versatility is big to me. I played every linebacker spot in my career from inside backer to outside backer and rush linebacker as well. 

Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?

My offseason goal was to get better in every phase of the game for any opportunity I can get for the NFL. I trained at Apex Performance Facility in Mesa, Arizona for my pro day prep where I most definitely gotten faster and gained more knowledge for the game of football. My pro day displayed all the work that was put in. 

Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?

Versatility that will stand out on the field. As far as off the field I am someone who will bring a positive attitude and winning mindset in a locker room. Accountability is something that is big to me, not only will I hold myself accountable I also will do the same for my teammates. 

Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?

The game of football has made the man that I am today. I am DeJaun Cooper, someone who is ready to produce defensively and most importantly on any special team unit. A professional who is devoted to nothing but improvement in any to put the team in the right direction. My goal is to be at my best for myself as an individual and most importantly the team. Thank you. 

Pro Day Results:
HT 6026
WT 230
ARM 3228
WING 7778
HAND 978
40: 4.59
Vertical: 38.5
Bench: 19
Broad: 10’2
SS: 4.31
L: 7.27