Hoosiers land 2021 DE Cooper Jones

Indiana landed its second commit for 2021 in Valparaiso defensive end Cooper Jones.

Jones, a 6-foot-6, 245-pounder, had offers from Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State, and Purdue. It’s another win for Tom Allen and new defensive line coach Kevin Peoples on the line, because Jones, the No. 4 recruit in the state, joins the No. 6 recruit, Elkhart defensive end Rodney McGraw, as early members of the ’21 class.

“First off I know this is small news during these chaotic times,” Jones posted to Twitter on Thursday night. “I would like to announce that I have committed to Indiana University to further my academic and athletic career. I want to thank (Allen) and the rest of the IU coaching staff for this great opportunity.”

As a junior, Jones produced six sacks in nine games for Valpo, along with five tackles for loss. He also played basketball, averaging 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest last season.

As much as this is a win for Allen, keeping another in-state talent home, this is equally a positive early sign for Peoples. Mark Hagen, now at Texas, was responsible for initially recruiting McGraw. But the Elkhart end remains in the fold, and he now has a highly rated counterpart in Jones.

This highlight from Valparaiso’s game versus LaPorte last season gives a good glance at his skillset, especially his athleticism (on a fumble recovery for a touchdown) and how he uses his strength and hands to beat blockers.


  1. Great pick up for the 2021 class and getting one of the top twenty at this position is a big get. I hope more commitments roll in over the summer and build this class for IUFB. Having two DEs in the state is big news that will keep the defense improving.

    I think coach Peoples will improve the DL and he is earning props for his recruiting already. IU beat out top B1G schools for Jones and he has great size for the position. Getting into coach Wellman’s S&C program will make him even better than he is now. Coach Allen has hire very good coaches for the staff and I hope we get to see the team in action this Fall.

  2. Yes v and it also proves IUFB’s continued quest to recruit talent in Northern Indiana. This time from the NW part. Following a S 2 years ago and was it Jones or Williams last year. Allen’s focus on the whole state is fulfilling, satisfying and reassuring of his commitment to upping IU’s ante toward the B1G. This type of talent over past decades would have played D1 with a different logo on his uniform. I suspect through expected upcoming success we’ll see Sheridan starting to affect the same state success as the D. I’m high on Sheridan.

  3. V13/HC,
    I share your enthusiasm for the apparent recruiting momentum TA & staff are beginning to build. If TA can continue to recruit high level Indiana kids, it kind of reminds me of CAM’s inside out strategy. The biggest difference I would see is that while Indiana is a talent rich state basketball wise, TA will still have to look outside to find enough talent in order to continue building the FB program.

    Really looking forward to the upcoming season to see how everything works out with the revamped staff and roster. Hoping for big things but do have major concern. The dark cloud on the horizon is the prospect of another “social distancing” decree for the fall. Hopefully, cures and vaccines will be found by then but it is a difficult task.

  4. Despite political attacks there are medications that will impact this virus. I hope with social distancing that has happened will slow down the spread and help people figure out there are things they can do to halt this spread with cleanliness and other strategies. I also hope vaccine is developed that will stop this and lead to a football season this fall. I have to say I am not as strict as I should be but I have been less sick in the past not worrying about germs than my wife does who gets sick. I worry about my son who has respiratory issues who is still working until this last week. He gets sick very quickly an gets very sick in a hurry so this virus is a big threat for him.

    Back to football it is very good to see IU getting top recruits from the state and we understand they need to go out of state to bring in better athletes too. I hope this 2021 class turns out to be a great class to go along with the classes before.

    1. V13,
      I hate it as much as you do when politics infiltrate the sporting world. I know it is impossible to keep them out from anywhere and there are even politics within the sporting world itself. I just like to have someplace where we can get away from all the clamor and enjoy the diversion which sports gives us. Things are bad enough in the “real” world, do we have to have political nonsense enter the one respite from all the bad we have to face?

      As for the reality of what we are facing, no one really knows. Even the so called “modelers” are now revising their projections downward. Who knows, tomorrow they may revise their projections upwards. Like you, I really hope this can all be put behind us by football season. I think by that time, the country, not to mention the world, will be badly in need of something close to normalcy after all the terribleness.

  5. Also picked up a commitment from a local 3 star TE today in Aaron Steinfeldt

  6. Looks like another great get for TA, and it is encouraging that this occurred after our new D-line coach was hired. But I’m wondering if the D-line coach even mattered in this recruitment?

    Cooper Jones is huge for a kid entering his Senior year of HS. I’m wondering, given his size, if Jones will be playing a position other than DE for IU? It wasn’t too long ago that IU signed Jason Spriggs, another athletic kid with great size who played DE in HS, and transformed him into an excellent left tackle. Coming out of HS, Spriggs was listed at 6’6″ and weighed 249 lbs. He had a great college career and went on to be a top draft pick of the Green Bay Packers. Jones is currently listed at 6’6″ and weighing 245 lbs.. A year from now, Jones’ weight could easily exceed 250 lbs.
    It will be interesting to see how this turns out/

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