Edgerrin Cooper representing Texas A&M at East-West Shrine Bowl

Photo by Sherry Milliken

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

There are two sides to Edgerrin Cooper.

It's a case of the split personality that special linebackers possess.

Catch him milling around with fellow NFL Draft hopefuls at the East-West Shrine Bowl and he's relaxed and asy going.

"I’m a funny guy," Cooper said. "I like to make everyone laugh and smile. I have a lot of different characters to me. I just like to be that person to bring happiness to everyone."

That's not the Edgerrin Cooper that Texas A&M fans witnessed in 2023. There's nothing opposing offenses found funny about Cooper terrorizing them en route to AP All-American and DCTF's Linebacker of the Year honors.

"It’s a different type of person that comes out," Cooper said. "It’s an animal that comes out then."

That animal seeks to become the second Texas A&M linebacker in the 21st century selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. 

Cooper models his game after San Francisco 49ers three-time All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner. Physically, they're spitting images at 6-foot-3-inches, 230 pounds. But the sideline-to-sideline range is what has Cooper rated as the best off-ball linebacker on ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper's 2024 Big Board. As the NFL game evolves to a lateral passing attack as an extension of the run game, Cooper's the ideal hybrid linebacker to combat it. He led Texas A&M with 84 tackles, yet perhaps more impressive was the 17 tackles for loss and eight sacks he paced the Aggies with. 

Cooper's favorite moment from his Texas A&M career illustrates that game-wrecker ability. In the third quarter against Alabama, Cooper disguised a blitz off quarterback Jalen Milroe's blindside and sprinted untouched to force a sack-fumble that brought on a chorus of boos from the Crimson Tide faithful. 

While his first two years in College Station were solid - he earned 2021 SEC All-Freshman team designation and finished fourth on the team with 61 tackles in 2022 - Cooper credits Texas A&M defensive coordinator DJ Durkin for aiding his leap to a high-round NFL Draft pick. While Durkin was the coordinator in 2022, he also took on the linebackers coach role this past season. Durkin oversaw the development of both Cooper and DCTF's All-Texas Defensive Freshman of the Year Taurean York. 

Cooper always had the physical capability, but he fell in love with the film room as a junior. That extra preparation allowed him to read offenses and time blitzes more effectively. 

"Durk, he told me he was going to lay it down all on the line for me," Cooper said. "I feel like he did a great job leading me in the right direction."

Cooper won't play in Thursday's 99th-annual East-West Shrine Bowl at the Star in Frisco, but he'll spend the week talking with NFL franchises and prepping mentally for the Scouting Combine in February. Viewers won't see that animal this week, only Cooper's personable side. But he'll be back.

"I want to make sure every team, every offense that faces me, knows I’m there," Cooper said.

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In
Don't Miss Any Exclusive Coverage!

We've been the Bible of Texas football fans for 64 years. By joining the DCTF family you'll gain access to all of our exclusive content and have our magazines mailed to you!