With 2017’s National Signing Day rapidly approaching, all Florida State fans’ eyes are trained squarely upon what is shaping up to be yet another top-tier class of new Seminoles. But that doesn’t mean that the class of 2018 is off the radar entirely-- and Robert Cooper made sure of that recently.
You see, measuring in at 6-3 and 350 pounds will do that. So will bench pressing 225 pounds 31 times— as a high school sophomore. Cooper, a 2018 defensive tackle commit to FSU, is presently a junior at Snellville, Georgia’s South Gwinnett High School, but he recently took to Twitter to show off his incredible upper-body strength.
You have to see this to believe it (from a 15 year old):
Of course, the 225-pound bench-press metric is a mainstay of the annual NFL Draft Combine. But comparing a high schooler to professionals isn’t really fair— in this case, for the pros. In the most recent combine, only six — six — players that would be in the NFL later that year benched 225 more than 31 times; and the top total was just 34 reps. In 2015, just 10 players posted more than 31 reps, including FSU’s Mario Edwards, Jr., with 32. Cameron Erving put it up 30 times. And get this: in 2014, ‘Nole great Timmy Jernigan totaled 27 reps prior to being taken as a first-round pick.
But the real gold-standard here is former Oregon State DT Stephen Paea: in 2012, he repped 225 a staggering 49 times. But Cooper certainly has ample time to close the gap on Paea.