Cooper DeJean: The All-American from Iowa

Cooper DeJean, the All-American from Iowa, born on February 9th, 2003, has been a consistent headline-maker this year. As a Defensive back for the Iowa Hawkeyes, he showcased his incredible skills, which led to his selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in this year’s draft. His performance at Iowa was nothing short of remarkable. In 2022, he recorded 56 solo tackles, 19 assists, and 5 interceptions. The following year, despite a season-ending injury, he managed 41 total tackles and 2 interceptions, leaving a lasting impression.

What sets Cooper DeJean apart is his versatility. As a white defensive player, he has proven his mettle, but it’s his ability to return the ball that truly makes him stand out. Serving as the Hawkeyes’ punt returner, he returned 21 punts for 241 yards in 2023, averaging 11.5 yards per game and ranking second in the Big 10. This unique skill adds an intriguing dimension to his game. 

In 2022, Cooper DeJean’s exceptional talent was recognized with the Tatum-Woodson Big 10 Defensive Back of the Year award, as well as the Rodgers-Dwight Big 10 Return Specialist of the Year award. His breakout season was truly remarkable. He was also named All-First Team All-Big 10 as a defensive player, a prestigious honor voted by coaches and staff. DeJean’s achievement of being only the sixth player since 2011 to receive the Tatum-Woodson award is a testament to his rare talent. 

Despite his injury in 2023, Cooper DeJean’s performance was nothing short of remarkable. Even in the limited number of games he played, he demonstrated his prowess on the defensive side of the ball.

My Opinion on Cooper DeJean

Before the NFL draft started, I thought he would be selected in the first round. I mean, why not? The kid is amazing. Not only can he defend well and intercept the ball, but he can also return punts at an efficient rate! That is everything you want as a GM scouting a guy. But no, he ended up getting drafted in the late second round. 

It’s disheartening to see that Cooper DeJean, arguably the best defensive player in that draft, was drafted in the late 2nd round. Whether it’s due to his race or his injury, it’s a decision that leaves a bitter taste. His talent and potential deserved better recognition. 

He even proved at the NFL combine that the leg injury he sustained was fine. There was absolutely nothing that could have made the GM not want to draft him. But I guess it doesn’t matter, right? He got drafted anyway. I am so excited to see what he does in the NFL. 

Personally, I am a Cyclones fan. So, I know you guys are probably like, WTF? Why is he talking about a Hawkeye like this? Well, I will tell you why. First off, Cooper DeJean is a white cornerback. You rarely see people of that color playing defense. Usually, they are on the offensive side, playing receiver.

Second, I have seen him play for years. I remember watching the Iowa vs Iowa State game last year, and he made a crazy interception on my Cyclones quarterback. I love watching his films. The way he plays football is truly remarkable. He always knows where to go and how to make the right play. 

My future opinion of him is that he will have a really great NFL career. I think he’ll lead the league in interceptions in his first season with the Eagles. I see him as one of the best players on the Eagles, despite being a rookie. Also, I see him leading the Eagles’ defense to win a Super Bowl. 

Some interesting personal facts about Cooper DeJean

Cooper DeJean grew up in Odebolt, Iowa. He played quarterback with the Falcons in high school. His high school stats were pretty impressive. As a senior, he recorded 3,447 passing yards with 35 passing touchdowns. Oh and he also rushed for 1,235 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns. 

You think that’s impressive. He was also the track and field state champion in 2A for the 100-meter dash and the long jump. He also had an impressive NFL combine. DeJean ran a 4.4 40-yard dash time. He added a 38.5 vertical leap and a 10-foot, 4-inch broad jump. He did all of that while being 6 foot 2 inches and 200 pounds. This guy is awesome. 

Cooper DeJean also played basketball in high school. Wow, what can’t he do? In 2020, DeJean averaged 25.9 points per game, 7.1 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game. Not only is he an all-around football player, but he is also an all-around basketball player! With those stats, he was probably offered scholarships to play basketball. I guess he liked football more. 

In a recent interview, DeJean was asked if he could take on Caitlin Clark 1v1. His response was, “I think I can. She would probably score a few buckets on me, but I think I can pull it off.” Hey, I would not doubt it. I mean, Caitlin Clark is unbelievable, but seeing DeJean’s basketball stats makes me wonder. I think it would be fun watching them play. It would be exciting. 

In conclusion, Cooper DeJean is one of my favorite players, despite being a Cyclones fan. He is everything you need as a defensive back in the NFL. He will make the guys around him better; that is just who he is and how he plays. The Philadelphia Eagles have an all-around amazing star on their hands. It will be a shame if they don’t utilize him to the best of their ability.

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  • Jake Dow

    Jake is a young man with a lot of life experience for his age. He is an aspiring writer and an avid sports fan.

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