11W Community Interview: Gahanna Lincoln Four-Star Defensive End Jonathon Cooper

By Jeremy Birmingham on July 19, 2015 at 11:15 am
Jonathon Cooper

The 11W Community Interview is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. You submit the questions, vote on them, and then we pass the top ones on to the biggest names in the world of Ohio State athletics.

When first we met Gahanna Lincoln defensive end Jonathon Cooper, he was days removed from his first scholarship offer in February of 2014.

"It was amazing, I was speechless," Cooper said to 11W about his offer from Illinois. "It's a heavy burden off my shoulders."

Since that first offer, Cooper has become one of the fastest-rising 2016 prospects in the country, racking up offers everywhere he went, including the game-changing scholarship from Ohio State last July after a dominant performance at Friday Night Lights.

Cooper committed to the Buckeyes in November and since then his star has risen even faster than before, rocketing up the recruiting rankings with each camp he's stopped at this spring and summer, culminating in his eye-opening performance at Nike's The Opening just over a week ago. That outing earned him his fifth star from 247Sports.com and it will not be a surprise when the other major networks follow suit soon.

Now, five days before he'll return to Friday Night Lights, Cooper talks with 11W readers about his recruitment in the 11W Community Interview.

How does it feel to get your fifth star?SightlyGrain6

JC: How it feels to get my fifth star? It is amazing. I mean I never imagined I would be a five-star recruit, but I always put in work – so much work – and it seems like it's paying off.

Take us through how you prepare yourself for competition, especially for these camps which are primarily one on one battles.DubJayFootball90

JC: How I prepare is everything. I always make sure I have a plan of what I'm going out there to do. Also, I always have a counter to go against the linemen on the field, but mostly it's just having that mindset to go out and do work. 

Being a GLHS alumni, it's pretty awesome to see a big football recruit not only go to come out of gahanna, but to stay home and commit to the good guys. How has everyone at home reacted to you committing to the Buckeyes, especially after the national title run?Ohio State Ombre

JC: The love and support I've been getting from everyone has been great. Everyone has always been very positive of me though. They want me to be my best and I'm doing everything I can to make that happen.

If you had to pick one recruit to join you on the defensive line who do you think would accept the offer? – Kiddbuckeye 

They want me to be my best and I'm doing everything I can to make that happen.

JC: I mean there are a lot of good linemen out there and we've already got some of the best with Terrell Hall and Malik Barrow and of course everyone knows how great Nick Bosa can be if he commits. I do want to play with Rashan Gary or Antwuan Jackson though, they're great players and great guys.

Who is the best offensive line recruit you've faced so far?BuckeyeVsTheWorld

JC: I've been all over this year and I've faced a lot of good linemen like Tommy Kraemer, Drake Jackson, Landon Young and Michael Onwenu. They were all very good. 

What are you planning on studying at The Ohio State University?Seattle Linga

JC: I plan on studying accounting. I had originally wanted to study engineering, but I've decided to move on from that. 

Who do you model your game after?ItWasMe

JC: I try to model my game after Demarcus Ware because he's really fast and explosive. He also uses his hands really well. Ray Lewis is my all-time favorite player though.

What is your goal weight that you'd like to be at when you get to Columbus?  What is your favorite meal to help get you there?BuckGuyFan1

JC: My goal is to hit my ideal weight of 250 pounds and make sure it's pure muscle. My favorite meal to get there? That would have to be Chipotle. 

What's the strangest recruiting experience you've had?BuckeyeInCleveBurg

JC: I would say the strangest recruiting experience I've had was when I took my teammate up to Ohio State, actually. This old man talked to us for about 30 minutes, just all kinds of random facts about Ohio State. Random. 

As you continue your relentless effort to better your game, what is one area you feel you really need to concentrate on before getting to OSU?JDunc686

JC: I think the main thing I need to work on is just hands, my hips and just stopping the run. If I can do that then I'll be pretty good, because I'm pretty good as a pass-rusher right now.

I'm really looking forward to this season. When I get to Ohio State I will work as hard as I can to be the best football player I can be. I can't wait to enroll early and I'm ready for the grind. 

Thanks everyone.

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