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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: DeJaun Cooper, LB, South Dakota

DeJaun Cooper, LB, South Dakota
DeJaun Cooper the versatile linebacker from South Dakota recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: DeJaun Cooper
  • Position: LB
  • College: Monmouth (4 years) South Dakota (Grad transfer/5th year)
  • Height: 6’3
  • Weight: 235-240
  • Twitter: _dcoop1
  • Instagram: _dcoop1

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2022 NFL Draft?

● My film shows the preparation that has been done over the years and the passion that I play with. I love football and always going to give it my all trying to showcase my talent.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

● I was first interested in football at a very young age. If I am remembering correctly, since 2008

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

● One thing a team should know is that they are going to get a dependable player. Playing in every game in my college career is a sneaky stat that I am extremely proud of. I am happy with the way my 5 years of college football have gone. Would love to get another opportunity to play the game that made me the player I am today.

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?

● One cause I would like to donate to would be a mental health foundation. Mental health is extremely important and when I can lend a hand why not do it for someone in need.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

● The best advice that I ever received was to continue to be yourself. It may sound simple but when you are doing what you love and not focused on the negative things but the positive things and how to become a better football player.

Who was your childhood hero?

● My mother was my childhood hero. My mother has done so much for me over the years. Not much has to be explained to understand.

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

● The most underrated teammate in my SD locker room has to be Isaiah McDaniels #22 Safety. The guy is a hard worker and always is positive no matter the situation.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

● My biggest pet peeve has to be being late. Everyone has important places to be, and being late to a scheduled meeting or meal can cause a rift in someone’s whole day. Every once in a while, circumstances happen. Once it becomes an ongoing issue, it’s a sign of disrespect and will be frustrating to almost anyone who endures it.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?

● I agree that overcoming adversity defines character and I definitely have walked that path before. Something that was challenging over my career has to be an injury/surgery that has caused me to miss time away from doing what I love. Secondly when I was officially transferring from a University that I graduated from. It was hard, especially being there for 4 years. Learning a whole new system in the fall of 2021 from being 4 years deep in another system was also challenging, definitely fun as well being in the Missouri Valley Conference at that.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

● Monmouth and USD are special places to me. They both gave me an opportunity that I could not take for granted. Being at these schools was special because I met so many people from all over the nation that I could call my brother. Playing for 5 straight conference championships in my FCS career in both the Big South and the Missouri Valley showed me the standard of where I want to go in life.

What is your favorite snack food?

● This is the hardest question. I do love popcorn before bed.

What is the best part of football?

● The best part of football to me is all of it. There is nothing like the sport of football, it gave me so much knowledge.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

● Determined.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

● Honestly, in college I played every linebacker spot, I think I can fit many spots being versatile but a couple of people that I like to watch are obviously pass rushers but players I like to watch are Darius Leonard and Micah Parsons. Leonard is an FCS guy who has made an impact every game since he walked in the NFL. Parsons can line up anywhere on the field and makes plays. Those are the two guys I would maybe compare myself to.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

● If I could have dinner with three people it would have to be probably those guys above Darius Leonard, Micah Parsons, and Von Miller. Think it would be a great conversation

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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