In an ideal situation, Jake Cooper might have redshirted last year as a freshman, but with the injuries and lack of depth at linebacker, he ended up playing in 12 of the 13 games. In second week of the season, against Buffalo, the true freshman had 3 tackles including his first career sack in the 4th quarter. Cooper made his first and only start of the year against Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl due to an injury to Troy Reeder. During the bowl game, he set a career-high with six stops (3 solo) and 0.5 tackle for loss.
Cooper filled in for the now departed Troy Reeder, but with the return of Nyeem Wartman-White from injury, it should be expected that Cooper will start the year as a reserve. Along with Manny Bowen, Jake Cooper will be crucial role players to provide some LB depth behind the starters. The playing time he saw last season will benefit the team, and Cooper’s role in the rotation should increase in his Sophomore season.