Four-star defensive tackle Darian Cooper took his first official visit this past weekend. The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder headed up to the Midwest to check out Michigan State.
"It was great," he said. "I really enjoyed myself. I got out there probably around six on Friday. I went out to eat with the coaches and hung out with Denicos Allen and William Gholston. I met a few of the players and we just had a good time, I talked to the guys and they gave me the shake down on the school and showed me around the different buildings. I got a bigger tour the next day."
Cooper was hosted by Allen on the trip.
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"It wasn't only him I hung out with, but a lot of players," he said. "He told me about Coach Dantonio and I asked my questions. They were telling me about Coach Gill and his coaching style, how he preaches technique, technique, technique, to make sure you do the little things right.
"He also told me that if you go out and compete and really work you can get playing time as a true freshman. Everybody is on an equal level. There isn't some thing where some guys are too cool, it's a real family and the guys are interactive. They even showed me some new dance moves from Detroit. That was really fun. They showed me the Detroit Turbo Shuffle, only the defensive backs were able to do it."
On Saturday, Cooper checked out the school more.
"I went and met with the dean of the business school and sat down and talked about why I wanted to major in business," he said. "I also got a more in-depth tour of the campus. I ate a lot too. I ate like three families worth and just hung out with the guys and met with the weight lifting and athletic trainer."
Having never visited Michigan State before, what were his impressions?
"I definitely liked it, it's still a city vibe," he stated. "There is more of a nightlife scene towards the back of campus. They had a real big cafeteria, I think the biggest non-military one and the campus was nice, but definitely different from Maryland. I liked it."
Before heading out this afternoon, Cooper got time with the coaches.
"I just had a meeting with Coach Gill and he filled me in on what he is expecting out of me and also Coach Dantonio's philosophies," he stated. "He talked about what he preaches for his team and the stability in the system. He mentioned how they have been together for six years and that was a minimum, others were much longer than that."
Overall it was a good trip.
"I had a great time, I enjoyed meeting some other recruits and it was a good chance to meet all walks of life. It was definitely a nice official visit."
Next up for Cooper is an official to Georgia Tech this coming weekend.
"You know, I'm looking to see a lot," he said. "I want to see if I'm compatible with the people not only dealing with football players, but those I spend a majority of my time with, if my morals and actions are compatible with there's. Everybody wants to win, people say it's not all about winning, but I want some place that it is their desire to win and not be complacent, it's not good enough to get there, but bring it home. I also want to talk to some of the other students and see what made them choose the college and find out some other things about the school for example the clubs."
Cooper confirmed he is focused on five schools with another official to Penn State on January 20th along with trips not yet set for Iowa and Michigan.