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UNC's Cooper named Outland Trophy finalist

Posted November 19, 2012

— North Carolina senior offensive guard Jonathan Cooper has been named one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America announced Monday.

Cooper joins Alabama center Barrett Jones and Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel as the finalists for the nation’s third oldest player award that has been given since 1946 to the best interior lineman in college football.

Cooper, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound senior from Wilmington, N.C., has not allowed a sack this season and has been named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice.

“I’m thrilled to be a finalist for the Outland Trophy,” said Cooper. “When I came to school, I never envisioned this could be possible. It really is a dream come true. You come to college to be the best player you can and I’m thankful to the Outland committee for acknowledging me.”

Cooper: I'm trying to focus and enjoy the moment Cooper: I'm trying to focus and enjoy the moment

Cooper is seeking to become North Carolina's first ever Outland Trophy winner and the first from the ACC since North Carolina State's Jim Ritcher in 1979.

“Coop has been invaluable as a leader and as a senior with this team,” said head coach Larry Fedora. “He’s very athletic, has tremendously quick feet for an offensive lineman and excels in all phases of the game. We’re fortunate to have him because, as I tell our coaches, you might not see another one as good as he is. Beyond his playing ability, he’s also a great person. Anyone who has spent time with him knows that he’s always a pleasure to be around. He always sees the positives in every situation.”

The three Outland finalists will be highlighted on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special airing Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.

Jones, who followed previous Alabama Outland Trophy winners, offensive tackles Chris Samuels (1999) and Andre Smith (2008), as the 2011 winner, is one of the most versatile and productive linemen in college football. He has played guard, tackle and center on two national championship teams at Alabama.

Joeckel, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior from Arlington, Texas, has helped protect freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel during his rookie season. Nationally, Texas A&M ranks 14th in rushing, 17th in passing, fifth in total offense and sixth in scoring offense. Texas A&M has never had an Outland Trophy winner or finalist.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
 
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR