Cooper DeJean, leading the Big Ten in interceptions, does everything for the Hawkeyes

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Cooper DeJean excels at the defensive back position, but does a little bit of everything.

You might call him a Swiss Army knife, but special teams coach LeVar Woods describes him another way.

“He’s a football player. I think that’s the best compliment you can give an athlete that plays football,” Woods said. “He’s not a receiver, he’s not a corner, he’s not a quarterback, he’s a football player.”

DeJean was a 3-sport star at OABCIG, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the state when he lead the Falcons to two straight state titles. Now, in college, he’s contributing on defense and special teams.

“That’s the greatest mark on an athlete is he’s versatile and he’s willing to do it and he’s able to do it,” said Woods.

Even though he’s the youngest starter on the Iowa defense, no one has proven their worth more than DeJean.

“There’s a lot that goes into playing any position and he does a couple and he plays it well at a really young age,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.

He’s had an interception in three straight games, the latest ending up in the end zone.

“I just saw the ball and I went and attacked it just like we did in practice,’ DeJean said after his pick-six at Rutgers. “The instincts kicked in there once I got the ball in my hand. I just cut back to the other side of the field and saw there was a lot of grass.”