Valdon Cooper - 2013
CB 5-11 174 Jr.
Elberton, Ga. (Illinois / Elbert County)
SOPHOMORE (2012): Projected starter at cornerback and expected to contribute on special teams… Caught on quickly to nuances of position after making transition to defense… High-tempo, athletic player who improves with every rep he takes with potential for All-Conference honors… Played in 13 games, missing only the Central Arkansas game, with 10 starts at cornerback… Won letter in first year with the Eagles… Posted 33 total tackles on the year (27u, 6a) with three tackles for loss (-13 yards) and two interceptions… Tied for team lead with seven passes broken up… Ranked fifth on the SoCon passes defended list with teammate Lavelle Westbrooks with nine on the year… Returned first-career interception 60 yards for a touchdown vs. Jacksonville after Dolphins started drive on Eagle side of the field… Solo tackle at The Citadel prevented Bulldogs from converting third down in fourth quarter… Third-quarter interception vs. Elon put Eagles on the Phoenix 40 with eventual go-ahead field goal… Added a solo and assisted tackle against Phoenix… Registered career-best six tackles vs. Howard (5u, 1a) including a tackle for loss and two passes broken up… Matched five solo tackles with five against Old Dominion in playoff win along with two pass break ups… Introduced himself to Monarchs with tackle for loss, putting ODU in a 4th and 13 situation… Recorded first career tackle for loss (-4 yards) and first career pass broken up vs. Wofford… Had then-career-best four solo tackles vs. Samford and matched that total against Appalachian State… Totals on the year included two solo tackles at Western Carolina and three assisted tackles at Furman… Made two solo tackles and had pass broken up in first quarter at Georgia before suffering dislocated finger.
ILLINOIS (2011): Transferred to the Eagles after playing 10 games for Illinois... Saw action in the first nine contest and the win over UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl... Made a solo stop in his debut against Arkansas State.
PREP: Three-star recruit by Rivals... Played for head coach Sid Fritts at Elbert County High School... Lettered four times and served as team captain... Earned All-Region honors twice and First Team All-State honors his senior season... As a senior, carried the ball 94 times for 906 yards and 12 touchdowns, while catching four passes for 48 yards... Defensively, registered 25 tackles, three for loss, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one interception... Also returned six kickoffs, including two for touchdowns, for an average of 48.8 yards per return... Returned five punts for 25.6 average and one TD... Also played basketball for two years... Won a number of track & field titles including the long jump state title twice, 110 hurdles, and member of Region 8 AA Track & Field Championship Team.
PERSONAL: Born Valdon Monroe Cooper on October 5th, 1992 in Royston, Ga... Son of Latrivia Hardman and Valdon Cooper, Sr.
MAJOR: Planning on majoring in Exercise Science.