DE Demetrius Cooper, Julian HS (Ill.) - (6-foot-5, 220 pounds)
In last week's recruiting roundup, we included a story from 247 where Chicago defensive end Demetrius Cooper was "95 percent" sure he'd be committing to MSU. That final five percent must have come over the weekend, as Cooper became commit No. 12 for MSU's class of 2013.
MSU needed a top-level pass-rusher for this class, and that's exactly what Cooper is. He blew up in the summer after being a top performer at the Sound Mind-Sound Body camp in Detroit. He then went to MSU's one-day camp, where he again was impressive enough to earn an offer. He went from there to Notre Dame and earned an offer from the Irish.
Cooper missed the 2011 season with a knee injury, so finding game tape on him has proven to be difficult. It also was a major reason he's been an under-the-radar prospect. If you recall, Kirk Cousins suffered an injury in his junior year of high school and had to use camps and his senior season to boost his recruiting stock.
As for Cooper, a major reason he's unranked by most recruiting services is because of that injury. At the end of July, Rivals said Cooper would be getting "four-star consideration" based on the offers he received at camps. (Side note: The fact that his rating is somewhat based on his offers tells you everything you need to know about ratings).
Not long after Cooper earned his offer from MSU, the Spartans seemed like the team to beat, even after the Notre Dame offer. The coaching staff and ability to play early were big reasons he chose MSU, according to 247.
"Michigan State was just the best fit for me," Cooper said. "That's the school I know is going to take care of me. I also feel there is a chance that I'll be able to play early. The biggest part in my decision was they are close to home and it's like a family up there. That's why I chose them."
The "chance that I'll be able to play early" likely refers to William Gholston, whom not many expect to return for his senior season in 2013. Cooper plans on being at the Boise State game this weekend.
Scout's Allen Trieu loves Cooper's physical ability, but reminds people that we still need to see him perform in a game.
Cooper is a fantastic pass rusher. He is quick off the ball, has a great speed rush, which he uses to then set up quick inside moves. He's agile and has great feet. Now, he blew up these camps, but we need to see him play a complete game this fall. Meaning, can he play the run too? Could he drop into coverage if need be? If he can, I could see him being used as an outside linebacker at times, to supplement his pass rushing.
MSU desperately needed defensive linemen in this class, and Cooper fits that spot. Only a few scholarships remain open for the class. All in all, Cooper appears to be another solid, underrated pickup for Mark Dantonio.