And for his unwavering dedication, Bassett received a reward. The man who saved his OSU career when it was in question has labeled Bassett the starting defensive end in 2012, giving him the permanent positional home he has never known.
“The best thing was in the weight room, it was nice not having to put on or drop any weight,” Bassett said. “It really allowed me to just kind of focus in on not having to learn a new system or learn a new position, but just kind of honing in on my skills. It's really just a relief. I've been a little bit of a journeyman, so it's nice to finally really have a home my senior year at defensive end.”
And the defensive line should benefit from the move as well.
“Cooper Bassett being able to move to the outside should really help us,” Young said. “One, it means we've finally got some depth inside. And it means Cooper finally can settle into his natural position. He's really been a valuable player for us.”
A player who at one point seemed irrelevant to keep around.
But Young's vision, combined with Bassett's willingness, altered those plans, giving the Cowboys a senior leader and talented rusher they almost lost.
“Coach Young has been a great coach and a great teacher, and I wouldn't be where I am now without him,” Bassett said. “Bringing me in and letting me be such a big part of the defense like I've been, whether it's been defensive tackle or defensive end, he's been patient with me. He's been a great teacher. I owe my career to Coach Young.”