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Kirby Smart, UGA Football Lands Elite Playmaker Derrek Cooper

June 7, 2024

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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs have once again landed a dynamic playmaker with 5-star potential.

That would be elite athlete, Derrek Cooper‍.

One of the top prospects across the country in the 2026 class, this natural playmaker from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in South Florida earned an offer from the Bulldogs in late January, and on Thursday night he chose Georgia over offers from Ohio State, Miami, LSU, and Florida State, among others.

Why did Cooper choose Georgia?

“I know that Georgia is a powerhouse in the college football industry”, Cooper told Dawg Post. “What makes Georgia a special place is the people and the coaches. What makes Coach Smart and his staff stand out is that they coach very well and they made me a priority for their program.”

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What will Cooper bring to Athens?

Length, versatility, and ball skills.

At 6-foot-1 190-pounds, Cooper brings a lengthy frame and tremendous ball skills, allowing him to make plays in all aspects of the game. He can make an impact in the secondary, at wide receiver, and on special teams.

Defensively, Cooper shows strong instincts in coverage and closes well on opposing receivers down the field. When the ball is in the air, Cooper turns into a receiver. He can snatch the ball out of the air and take off down the field. He also brings a level of physicality, hitting the ball-carrier behind his pads. He’s a sure-tackler in the open field, but his ability to make plays in coverage is a big reason why he’s ranked among the top athletes in his class.

A natural playmaker, Cooper made a big impact as a sophomore last year for Cardinal Gibbons (FL), making 49 tackles and four INTs defensively. He played some receiver last fall but has a chance to play more on offense this fall as a junior for Chaminade-Madonna Prep. His speed stands out immediately as he runs a 10.7 time in the 100-meter.

He sure didn’t look, or play like your average sophomore last year. His combination of speed, versatility, and big play ability on defense will be welcomed with open arms when he gets to Athens down the road.

Cooper is currently ranked as the No. 2 ATH, the No. 3 prospect in Florida, and the No. 25 overall prospect in the 2026 class.


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