First he was named third-team All-Pac-12 by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports. Then, Rob Rang graded him as WSU's best NFL Draft prospect. Now, Xavier Cooper has been named to the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Lineman Trophy watch list. I'm not entirely sure how prestigious that is, but the name is really long, so it must be good.
In all seriousness, the CFPA awards have been given out since 2008 with previous defensive line winners including Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina, Alex Okafor of Texas, Whitney Mercilus of Illinois and Ryan Kerrigan or Purdue among others. Cooper is one of 40 players named to the watch list. The winner will be announced on January 14, 2015.
His addition to the watch list is the latest example of the high expectations surrounding Cooper heading into the season. The redshirt junior was one of WSU's best defensive players last season and you could make an argument he's the best player on the roster this year. He improved considerably during his second year and a similar jump this season would have him pushing for first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Whether he gets there or not remains to be seen, but his inclusion on the watch list gives me another excuse to post this GIF:
Take 2: Best offensive position groups? - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN
It's hard not to look up and down the Pac-12 rosters and marvel at some of the offensive talent at just about every school. With 10 starting quarterbacks coming back, the fall promises to bring many sleepless nights for defensive coordinators in the conference.
Cooper Named To CFPA Defensive Lineman Watch List - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State football defensive lineman Xavier Cooper has been named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Defensive Lineman Trophy watch list, the organization announced Tuesday.
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Travis Long spent his first NFL season on the Eagles’ practice squad, a fairly impressive accomplishment given that he went undrafted last April and didn’t sign his first contract until after training camp had already started.
Oregon Ducks Football Opponent Primers: Washington State Cougars
You have to hand it to Connor Halliday – he sticks out a couple sub-par years in Pullman, ruptured his spleen and lacerated his liver during games behind a porous offensive line, and now he enters his second season in what amounts to a quarterback's candyland under air raid guru Mike Leach.