St. Augustine HS
CAREER: Versatile unsung reserve who is a standout on special teams and is a fixture in the goal-line and short-yardage defense…Tough defender has played in 34 games over the last three seasons and started the 2006 regular-season finale…Started his UM career as a linebacker as a redshirt freshman in 2003, then moved to safety, to linebacker and back to safety in 2005 (and he saw limited action at linebacker in 2006)…Durable, tough player who is considered a dependable player by the coaching staff…A former high school quarterback, his mental approach and athletic ability impressed the coaches early in his career…Graduated in May 2007 with a degree in liberal arts.
2006 (JUNIOR): Provided valuable backup support at safety and was a mainstay on the goal-line defense…Also played some linebacker…Saw action in 12 games and started against Boston College…Finished the year with nine tackles (six solo), one tackle for loss, two pass breakups and one interception…Stellar special teams performer who led the team with 11 tackles…Named the team’s Special Teams Player of the Year and received the Dale Melching Award for leadership…Saw action on defense and special teams in every game he played…Had the best game of his career at Duke with two huge plays at the end of the game. Made a game-saving tackle at the 18-yard line on Duke’s final drive, then intercepted a pass at the goal line on the final play of the game, returning it 85 yards. Made two total tackles and a pass deflection in addition to the interception, which was the first of his career…Made his first collegiate start at free safety vs. Boston College…Did not play in the MPC Computers Bowl against Nevada because of a sprained ankle suffered during bowl practice in early December.
2005 (SOPHOMORE): Special teams stalwart who switched back to safety from linebacker during the season…Played in all 12 games, making four tackles in limited play on defense…Also played on most special teams units…Saw action on defense in four games (Duke, Temple, North Carolina and Wake Forest).
2004 (FRESHMAN): Played in 10 games, mostly on special teams…Totaled four tackles for the season…Missed the Georgia Tech and Louisville games with a knee injury.
2003 (REDSHIRT): Sat out the season as a redshirt…Impressed the coaching staff with his approach to his scout team work.
HIGH SCHOOL: Starred at cornerback and quarterback as a junior and senior…Led his team to an appearance in the state championship game in 2001 and to the state semifinals in 2002…Intercepted 11 passes as a senior in 2002…As a junior in 2001, made 133 tackles and six interceptions, returning one for a touchdown…Rated the No. 20 player in Florida by Allen Wallace’s SuperPrep…Rated the nation’s No. 21 safety prospect by Tom Lemming’s Prep Football Report…Member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100…Member of the Palm Beach Post Florida Top 20…The No. 9 player on the Orlando Sentinel Florida Top 100…First-team selection on the Fox Sports Net Florida All-South Team…Chose Miami over Florida State, Florida and Oklahoma…Coached by Joey Wiles.
WILLIE COOPER’S CAREER STATISTICS
|2003||Did not play – Redshirt season|
SPECIAL TEAMS TACKLES: 11 in 2006