2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Devaughn Cooper, WR, Syracuse University
- Name: Devaughn Cooper
- Position: WR
- College: Syracuse University
- Height: 5’11 1/2″
- Weight: 190 lbs
- Twitter: @coopa_da_rula
- Instagram: @coopdaville_
What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?
I have been playing football since I was 7 years old. I have always liked the sport but when I was younger I would be playing outside and one day someone in my family suggested I play tackle football with an organization just as my older cousin was doing. My mom listened to the suggestion and put me on a pop warner football team called the Wilsher Huskies. I played for the Wilsher Huskies from 7 years old all the way to high school and developed a love/passion for the sport.
What are you looking to achieve as a football player going forward?
I am looking to achieve the opportunity to keep playing the sport I love and continuing my football career at the next level.
If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?
I would choose two players, first Peter Warrick because he was fast, elusive, and a true playmaker and I see myself with some of the play making abilities he has showcased, and also Steve Smith Sr because he is from Los Angeles as am I, he played in the NFL for double digit years and had a great career, he also isn’t very tall so it is very motivational.
What are your favorite moments from your football life?
I have a lot of favorite moments in my football career dating back to when I was a child like making it to the championship game in pop warner, or winning the state championship game in high school. In college I have been to two bowl games, which I have had an extremely great experience both times. One of my overall favorite moments would have to be this year at Syracuse when we beat NC State and all the fans rushed the field, it was my first time experiencing the crowd rush the field and it was truly a moment I’ll remember!
Which one of your family members inspires you the most and why?
I honestly don’t think there is a family member that inspires me more than any others, my family inspires me differently depending on who the person is individually in my family. I have different type of connections/relationships within my family which is why the type of inspiration differentiates between the people in my family. I am honestly blessed to have such support from my family members and peers, and do not take it for granted that right there is inspiration in itself just knowing there are people rooting for me and want to see me successful.
What is your favorite offensive scheme and why?
My favorite would be what we ran at Syracuse this last year with principles of the air raid from coach coach Robert Anae, but it incorporated runs that set up for pass plays and spread the ball around. Also like the spread I ran at Arizona under coach Rich Rod that spread the ball around and incorporated lots of RPO type plays.
What should we know about Devaughn Cooper the person?
Being from Los Angeles and didn’t grow up with much so I cherish the blessed life I have and the opportunities I have been given. I am a fast and quick slot/wr who can make plays, run routes, block and play special teams. I am a hard working person who strives for his goals and does not give up. I am a strong family oriented person who believes in building strong and meaningful connections/relationships. I am big on being humble and respectful. I am very dedicated to my team and goals and want the best for my team and teammates. I am also a big believer in you get what you put out meaning you really have to work hard and go get your goals because it will not just come to you. I also like to meet new people and obtain new information by learning from others.
What stands out about your film the most?
What stands out most in my tape is my ability to be quick in open space, being able to get open with good route running, elusiveness, run and perimeter blocking, toughness, I caught a lot of in traffic catches and 3rd/4th down conversions over my career, great hands (hands catcher), and I play all special teams.
How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?
I am a Christian and believe in God! I believe everything happens for a reason and it is all apart of the plan God has set out for me. Off the field I often talk to old coaches/mentors, family members, FCA members, and peers to ask for their opinions and advice on certain situations but I ultimately pray and ask God for guidance. On the field I rely on my preparation and training. I have a lot of experience playing football and some times if a challenge occurs I have enough experience/IQ to make the needed adjustments or improvise to where I can overcome the obstacles I’m facing. I also pray before my games and ask for Gods hand and that he keeps everyone on both teams safe.
What would a team get in a player like you?
A team would get a player who is determined to win and get better every week. I am great team player who does what is necessary for the team to succeed. I am tough and physical. I have a sort of dog mentality where I am very competitive and give my all. I am also a leader who cares about my team and and building life time relationships and bonds.
What do you love the most about the game of football?
I love the game because it gives me the opportunity to express my passion and be myself playing the game I’ve been playing and watching since I was young. As I’ve gotten older I began to appreciate traveling and meeting new people, building relationships that’ll last a lifetime. Football has also taught me how to face adversity and be resilient.
Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?
I have played with so many underrated players through my high school and college career so it is honestly hard to say, but if I had to choose one underrated player to speak on right now it would be my former teammate at University of Arizona, Anthony Pandy. He was a tough and physical LB that was fast, quick, flied around the field, who caught one hand picks, caused fumbles, and dominated at his position and on special teams. He along with many others I played with should have gotten an opportunity but were too underrated.