No Boring Weekends, No Problem for 2016 Ohio State Commit Jonathon Cooper

By Eric Seger on June 18, 2015 at 2:15 pm

When Jonathon Cooper was asked to identify the most recent time he's had a boring weekend, the future Ohio State defensive end could only shrug.

"It's been a long time," Cooper said after working out at Ohio State camp Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Cooper doesn't really mind, however. He sees every opportunity to participate in a camp either at Ohio State — all of 15 minutes from his hometown of Gahanna — or elsewhere, as a chance to display his skills to those salivating over the rising prospect.

"Ever since I started the summer I’ve just wanted to come in and work hard and show that I’m the best defensive end in the country," Cooper, a four star prospect, said.

Cooper said he came back to campus Tuesday after shredding the competition at Nike's The Opening regional camp May 31 to get another opportunity for more tips from Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson. The more time he can get in with Johnson, the better, Cooper said, because there's always room for improvement.

"One thing that stood out was how fast the hands move," Cooper said. "How important hips and hands are, just working with him and learning different movements and flipping my hips more."

Cooper earned defensive line MVP honors the last time he was in Columbus at the Nike regional camp, in addition to an invitation to the national camp July 7-10 out in Beaverton, Ore., at the company's headquarters.

A week later Cooper went on the prowl yet again, abusing all in his path at the Rivals Five Star Challenge in Baltimore to continue garnering more positive feedback from coaches — including those at Ohio State.

"They just think I’m amazing. They’ve never seen somebody like me. Sometimes they tell me it’s the best defensive end performance they’ve ever seen," Cooper said. "All in all, it’s just telling me I need to work harder and get better."

"I’m just a very explosive kid and I don’t like losing. I don’t take losing well."– 2016 Ohio State Commit Jonathon Cooper

He doesn't think he's lost a one-on-one battle so far this summer, a statement that may seem arrogant especially if you think about the lack of talent present at some of the camps Cooper is dominating.

But that isn't the case, at least according to the young defensive end.

"I just want to go against the best," Cooper said. "So whenever I go to camps like this I just want to make sure I go against the best top linemen to see where I’m at."

Doing such is an assured way to get better, even though players don't wear pads at summer camps. Regardless, Cooper's immense size, strength and speed are on display every time he laces up.

"I’m just a very explosive kid and I don’t like losing. I don’t take losing well," Cooper said. "So if I lose a rep, I go back and I analyze, I critique myself really well. All the film of all the camps I’ve been too, I study them and try to figure out what I can do better."

So even though Tuesday's camp took up part of his week instead of a weekend, Cooper's mindset remains the same. Work hard, spend time at Ohio State and never get satisfied no matter how much praise he receives from the outside.

"Hearing that stuff means a lot. Tells me I’m becoming a really, really good player," Cooper said. "But all in all I just keep the same mentality, just want to work hard, want to compete against the best and be the best player I can be."

View 32 Comments