Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha defensive tackle Darian Cooper is the top uncommitted prospect playing in this weekend's Maryland Crab Bowl. Because of the, the 6-foot-1, 270-pound Rivals250 prospect has received quite a bit of attention. However, he has taken it all in stride.
Cooper is in the middle of taking official visits and already has two under his belt. He enjoyed his most recent trip to an ACC school as there were several familiar faces on campus.
"I've been to Michigan State and I just came from Georgia Tech this weekend," Cooper said. "Georgia Tech was amazing. I went down there Friday. Blake Countess and Zach Dancel were down there with me as well. Jeremiah Attaochu, No. 45 for Georgia Tech, he played for Carroll. Louis Young from Good Counsel is down there as well."
Cooper has two other visits planned to Big 10 programs as well.
"I'm going to Penn State on Jan. 14 or 15," the four-star defender said on Tuesday evening. "I was just talking to Iowa today and I think I'll be down there on Jan. 21. I was thinking about taking an official to Michigan but I'm not really sure about that now."
Though Cooper says he does not have a current favorite, he says there is a top group.
"Those four schools (that are getting official visits), those are the ones that are standing out," he said. "Those are the ones that I've chosen to look into this far in the process."
He also has no definitive plans for a commitment date at this time.
"I'm going to kind of play it by ear," Cooper said. "I'd like to finish my officials out first. From there, whichever school I feel most at home and is the best fit for me, I'll decide to go there."
A few head coaches will have a shot to sway Cooper soon.
"Coach (Mark) Dantonio from Michigan State, I believe is coming in on Thursday for an in-home visit," he said. "The head coach from Iowa, coach Kirk (Ferentz), he also wants to come down. Those are the only ones with a head coach that I know of so far."
For the time being, Cooper is just relishing the opportunity to play in the Crab Bowl.
"This is a great group of guys out here," he said. "I'm really enjoying the practices. It's just giving me a chance to really gauge myself against Maryland's best. I'm definitely enjoying it."