One of the more intense players in the state of South Carolina’s 2007 class, Lake City High School’s Scotty Cooper is an aggressive, fast player who really stepped up as the leader and catalyst for head coach Justin Gentry’s defense this past season. The 6-0, 205-pound outside linebacker racked up 96 tackles including 11 tackles-for-loss and four sacks in what was an outstanding junior season.
“We knew he was a great athlete,” Gentry said of Cooper, who plays outside linebacker in Gentry’s 3-5 scheme. “Last year, about mid-way through the season, we started off 4-0 and things were going great and then we dropped a couple close ones. That’s when he realized it was time for him to step and I tell you he stepped it up. From week 6 thru week 10, I’ve never seen a kid step it up on the field the way he did. He learned to become a leader last year. He’s a very out-spoken young man, so he’s a natural leader.”
A three-sport athlete, Cooper plays football, runs track and, just this year, added wrestling to his list of sports. He brings the same intensity to each sport he plays.
“Scotty’s strength is his liking of contact I guess you could say,” Gentry said. “He’s an aggressive kid. He’s not afraid to put his nose in there. And his overall speed and how he closes in on the ball is just amazing. I’ve never coached anybody with the closing speed that he’s got.”
Very fast, Cooper was timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.49 seconds. His personal best time in the 100 meters is 10.53 seconds, which he ran in April of 2005. On the next level, Cooper, who most college coaches like as an outside linebacker, has the ability to play strong safety as well.
Clemson, South Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Michigan are among the schools that have offered officially. Does Cooper have interest in Virginia Tech?
“He does,” Gentry said. “Clemson and South Carolina offered him. And then N.C. State offered him. Those were his first three and then Virginia Tech came in and offered. That really opened his eyes so he’s very interested in getting up that way.
“At first I would have said he wanted to stay in-state, but now that he’s really seen what’s out there he’s open to anything.”
Cooper currently plans to make a decision before his senior season.
“He’s voiced his concerns about that,” Gentry said. “He told me he’d like to have his decision...
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