football

NoCal athlete has huge upside

When you stand 6-foot-5, weigh in at 245 and run the 40 in 4.5, as Kenneth Cooper from Merced, Calif., does there is a good chance you are a big time prospect. Add into the equation Cooper's versatility and he becomes even more intriguing.
Cooper has the size and ability to play tight end, the speed to play wide receiver and the toughness to play linebacker on the D-I level.
"Kenneth played slot back as a sophomore, and tight end as a junior," Merced coach Rob Scheidt said. "He will move back to wide receiver for his senior season.
"On defense, Kenneth can play defensive end, all three linebacker spots and even some safety," Scheidt said. "He is such a tremendous athlete.
"What set Kenneth apart from other tight end prospects is his blocking," Scheidt said. "He can run and catch the football, but he takes pride on his blocking and is outstanding at it.
"Kenneth will be a three-year starter for us in the fall," Scheidt said. "We don't bring them up as sophomores to the varsity level if they aren't ready to start.
"To give you an indication of how tough Kenneth is, he was hurt for a month last season," Scheidt said. "He worked hard to get back in game shape and when he did, he came back even stronger. He didn't start both ways for us, but he did play a lot of defense for us."
"Kenneth has unlimited potential based on his size, speed and versatility," Scheidt said. "He didn't get a lot of opportunities to catch the ball last season because we had Cal bound (four-star) Jarrett Sparks, but he has outstanding hands.
Cooper earned all-area, all-district and all-conference honors from his tight end position as a junior mostly for his blocking skills. He ended up with seven receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Arizona State, Oregon, Washington, Fresno State and Nevada have shown early interest.
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