2016 Ohio State Commit Jonathon Cooper Shines At The Opening Regional

By Tim Shoemaker on June 2, 2015 at 8:35 am
Jonathon Cooper at The Opening

Had the pop-up football dummy bag been an actual quarterback, he would have spent a lot of time picking himself up off the turf when Jonathon Cooper was coming off the edge. That’s just how many times the 2016 defensive end and Ohio State commit made contact during 1-on-1 drills Sunday at Nike’s The Opening regional camp in Columbus.

Cooper was one of the defensive standouts on a day which featured hundreds of the top prospects in the Midwest. He earned MVP honors on the defensive line and when the day finished, he was invited to The Opening — the national camp which is held from July 7-10 at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

“It means a lot to come here and just show out especially in front of my future school,” Cooper said following the event. “Just to get D-line MVP, I came out here to prove something and I feel like I did.”

Ohio State’s coaches were not allowed to be in attendance to watch Cooper and fellow 2016 commits Demario McCall and Jake Hausmann earn their invitations to The Opening. But everyone who was in attendance was somewhat wowed watching Cooper compete. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound edge rusher said he lost only one rep on the day — against Notre Dame commit and five-star offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer — and took between 12 and 14.

“I don’t put too much pressure on myself,” Cooper said. “I just come out here and just be the best athlete I can be and the best player I can be.”

Cooper, who attends Gahanna Lincoln High School right outside of Columbus, is currently ranked as a four-star prospect by 247Sports. He is rated as the No. 7 weak-side defensive end in the country and the nation’s 119th-ranked player.

But Cooper has dominated the off-season camp circuit, according to many. He could see his ranking sky even higher as the summer goes on. Cooper attributes that rise to his increase in strength and flexibility.

“I’ve just improved on my strength, I’ve been getting bigger lately,” he said. “I’ve been working harder. It’s been going really, really good.”

And as Cooper stood in front of those hundreds of other campers as one of the 10 selected to go to The Opening, he flashed a big smile. McCall and Hausmann stood up there with him, as well as Ohio State targets Austin Mack and Damar Hamlin.

Cooper was enjoying this particular moment, but he’s also excited for what’s ahead of him.

“It’s going to be great, I’m really excited to go (to The Opening). Just to go there with some teammates, as well, it just means even more,” Cooper said. “There’s something really good coming on to Ohio State. Just with all the talent coming in, we have a chance to do something big here.”

View 64 Comments