Although San Francisco 49ers 5th round draft pick Fahn Cooper's high school team went to the state quarterfinals after an 11-1 season, he still found himself under the radar of college recruiters. He attended Bowling Green for two years before transferring to a community college in the hope of catching the eye of a scout from a major college program rather than sitting out a year.
During his time at the College of DuPage, Cooper had no meal plan, no dorm room and had to wash his own uniforms. He locked all of his equipment in his car that had only one working door. The sacrifice was worth it as he was deemed a 4-star OT by ESPN.com and 247Sports.com and finally awarded a scholarship by Ole Miss.
He started all 26 games during his 2 year career as a Rebel and won the Kent Hull award for Mississippi's best offensive lineman in 2015. He has played on both the left side and the right, standing in for the suspended Laremy Tunsil on the left side. He is 6'4 and 303 lbs and another strong run blocker that the 49ers have added to the line.
There are questions about Cooper as a pass blocker, but he had some work out of a two point stance at Ole Miss and says he feels comfortable either way. He did an interview with Red Cup Rebellion, our Ole Miss counterpart, where he spoke about not knowing where he would play until the last moment and the preparation for it. He spoke to the media shortly after being picked by the 49ers. There were a few technical difficulties so the conversation isn't as long as some of the others.
So today is your birthday?
How are you celebrating?
I'm just here with my family. I have my mom, my uncle, my auntie, my little cousin and my girlfriend. I have some people over at my house for my birthday and obviously also to watch the draft, kind of. Even though I was watching I was trying to avoid it as much as possible. So I was just in there playing videos with my little cousin.
The 49ers employ a zone blocking scheme. How do you think you fit into those requirements?
I think that's something I have a lot of experience with. You know we did some zone clocking at Bowling Green. We even tried to implement that when even when I was in junior college. When I was at Ole Miss we ran a lot of zone as well. Obviously we ran a lot more spread type offense so you know you get down there locking in on that two point stance, getting out in space [inaudible] and stuff like that.
Coach Flaherty was at your pro day, you worked out with him. What were some of the things he told you to work on?
I think hands and making sure you use your hips so your feet are in the right place. That's what we were doing, our deal out there, taking sets [inaudible] making sure you were set on the right angle instead of taking the same set every time. Making sure you were set on the right angle based on where the rush is coming from.
What were your thoughts on Thursday when you watched teammate Laremy Tunsil going through what he went through, his draft stock falling?
I wasn't watching the draft at all. I was at Cheesecake Factory. I was there with my cousin and my girlfriend. People started calling me and texting me and I asked them what they were talking about. Finally people sent me what they were talking about. It went and saw a little on the TV and just saw that a couple of picks that went by and his name didn't get called.