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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospects: Mariel Cooper, CB, The Citadel

The Citadel defensive back Mariel Cooper is a big time play maker
The Citadel defensive back Mariel Cooper is a big time play maker

NFL Draft Diamonds and our staff have been bringing our readers Prospect Interviews over the past 2 years and this year we mixed up the questions and added some fun questions for our readers. We have tons of NFL staff that read our interviews, and we actually received several of the questions from NFL scouts we speak too. This gives them a little bit more information regarding your character. We hope to bring you more than 300 interviews of NFL Draft Prospects this season. You will be able to track them all on the front page of our website in the banner.

What is your name?

Mariel Lekeis Cooper

What is your Height/Weight? 

5’11 ½ 195

What is your position? 


Where do you play college football? 

South Carolina State/ The Citadel

Football is about giving back, what is the coolest thing you have done off the field? 

Orchestrate an event for my hometown in honor of my deceased baby brother

What was the hardest college class you ever had to take?


Where are you from? 

Sumter, SC

Who is your role model, and why? 

Deion Sanders because I loved the way he played and affected the game

Did you play any other sports growing up? 

Yes. Basketball, Baseball and Track

marielDid you play any other positions in football? 

Yes. Played FS my junior season at SC State.

At your position, what separates you from others? 

My speed, physicality, quick learner, versatility, mental toughness and my effectiveness in the special team game 

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

When I break down film, I look for QB, WR and coaching tendencies, plays ran out of specific formations, WR splits, WR and QB body language, situational tendencies (3rd down specifically and 2 min), hand signals if visible.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced? 

Sammy Watkins

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why? 

Darrelle Revis because I’m a man to man guy and teams didn’t really throw the ball my way. I am also good at anticipating plays, shedding blocks and making tackles.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it? 

The death of my baby brother my senior football season after only being at The Citadel for a week. I just prayed daily and got closer to God.

Do you have any pre-game rituals? 

I got to bed listening to gospel music the night before the game

What is your biggest strength? 

My mental toughness and ability to learn a playbook

What is your biggest weakness? 

Had 3 different Position Coaches and Played 3 different techniques

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say? 

I’m Mariel Cooper and I am a very coachable and marketable guy. My life struggles made me who I am today. I can contribute majorly to your team in 2 out of 3 phases of the game.

Who was your favorite player and/or NFL team growing up? 

Deion Sanders is my all-time favorite player and the Indianapolis Colts is my favorite NFL Team

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose? 

My baby brother Destin Wise, Malcolm X and Aaliyah

What will be the first big item you buy once you are in the NFL?

My mom’s dream home

Rapid Answers:

  • Tupac or Biggie?
  • NFL Network or ESPN?
  • Coke or Pepsi?
  • Pizza or Burgers?
  • Dogs or Cats?

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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