Top JC QB Throws His Hat into the Ring at BYU

Cade Cooper

Provo, Utah loves a quarterback controversy, and it is going to get a good one this off-season. John Beck's graduation leaves a huge void on the BYU roster that must be filled during spring practices. Sophomore ASU transfer Max Hall and redshirt freshmen Jacob Bower and Sam Doman will now be joined in the quarterback race by Cade Cooper, the nation's top junior college QB in 2006.

"I'm going to compete for the starting spot," said Cade Cooper. "I believe that it's a great situation for me to come in and truly compete for the starting quarterback spot, and that is what I'm working for."

Cooper will enroll at BYU this January as a walk-on, but he will not remain a walk-on for very long. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall promised Cooper a scholarship beginning in fall semester. Although that may seem a risky prospect by some, Cooper recognizes Mendenhall as a man of his word and knows that the promised scholarship will come his way.

"I put my trust in Bronco," said Cooper. "He's a man of his word. He's a very honest and trustful person, and I think he's shown a pattern of that since he's been head coach. I know what he tells me is the truth."

Following the 2006 season, Cooper was named the NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year. The Snow College signal caller led the Badgers to a 11-1 record, a #2 national ranking, and a victory in the Top of the Mountains Bowl. Cooper completed 67 percent of his passes for 3103 yards, 31 touchdowns, and just 8 interceptions.

Cooper weighs in at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. Although he did most of his work from the pocket, Cooper feels he is very able to operate outside of the pocket and has good mobility.

"I have a lot of confidence in my abilities," said Cooper. "I feel that I can do a lot on the football field and will do my best to show that this spring."

Cooper hails from Utah County. He played his senior year right in BYU's backyard at Timpview High School. Growing up a Cougar fan in the shadows of LaVell Edwards Stadium, Cooper always aspired to join the ranks of great BYU quarterbacks.

"I guess you could say it's sort of a dream come true," said Cooper. "It's what I wanted growing up, and to have that chance is everything I've wanted and is why I chose to go to BYU."

The Cougars were not Cooper's only college suitor. He was courted by the likes of Nebraska, Utah, and Arizona among other schools. In the end, Cooper felt he would be best served at BYU.

"It's a great school, a great program, and where I've always wanted to be," said Cooper. "To have that chance is something I felt I just couldn't pass up."

Cooper committed just days after BYU's impressive performance at the Las Vegas Bowl. Following the game Cooper confirmed with Cougar coaches that he would indeed have a scholarship in the fall. That knowledge was enough to push him over the edge in the making his final decision.

"BYU has a great legacy," said Cooper. "It's a great football program that is getting better, and it's close to home, which is important to me. My family has been able to see my games since Snow isn't that far away, and now they'll be able to see me play every game at BYU. All I wanted was the opportunity to start, and I'll have that chance at the school I've always wanted to play for."

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