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Cooper nervously awaiting name call

Posted April 25, 2013

— For the last four years, Jonathan Cooper has been lacing up his cleats for the University of North Carolina. The Wilmington, N.C., native is a big, imposing offensive guard, who made a career out of clearing holes for Tar Heel running backs.

At 6-foot-2, 311-pounds, Cooper’s work in the trenches did not escape the notice of NFL scouts, who project him as an early first-round pick in the NFL Draft.

“It’s been a lot of traveling, a lot of metal preparation and mental tests and the handling of physical stress,” Cooper said of the process leading up to the draft. “The biggest thing that I have learned is to try and enjoy it because there are a lot of guys that would like to change places with me.”

Away from the field, Cooper’s classroom and community service work won him numerous awards this spring. With his lack of character issues, the always affable Cooper scored high on intangibles with NFL teams.

“That’s what I always used to say, I’m banking on my character to get me through the draft,” Cooper said. “I try to have a good personality and be the person my parents raised me to be.”

Another plus for Cooper is his adaptability. After playing for three head coaches in his career at Carolina, he’s shown he can adjust to new coaching and playing styles.

“It showed all the coaches my versatility and my ability to fit into different schemes,” Cooper said. “It showed my ability to transition with a new coaching staff as well as pick up a new playbook quickly.”

Now, Cooper is on the clock. He’ll be in the green room for the NFL Draft Thursday, and admitted it could be an emotional night.

“It’ll be exciting to get to the podium and see Roger Goodell and shake hands with him,” Cooper said. “I’m getting nervous just thinking about it. I really just try and put it off and save all my emotion for that moment. I might cry.”

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21