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Preparing for the draft: OU’s Jon Cooper hoping to get noticed at combine

Published: February 16, 2009
While center Jon Cooper was preparing for the Shrine Game last month in Houston, his West roster teammates began receiving e-mails containing invitations to February’s NFL Scouting Combine.

Cooper, voted the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year by the league’s coaches, waited for his e-mail to arrive, too.

It never came.

"I was worried I wasn’t going to get invited,” Cooper told The Oklahoman in a phone interview. "I called the National Football Scouting office just to see, and they said the first invites, which is for seniors, had been sent out.

"I wasn’t one of them.”

Eventually, Cooper — as well as former OU guard Brandon Walker, who also was left off the first list — received a Combine invitation earlier this month.

But only after spots were available following the second round of invites, which go to selected underclassmen who have declared for the NFL Draft and then to leftover seniors who didn’t get invited the first time.

"I kind of got overlooked,” said Cooper, who’s been working out in Los Angeles with Walker and ex-Sooner offensive tackle Phil Loadholt. "I felt like I had done well enough in college to get invited the first time.

OU players at the combine
Sooners who will participate in this weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine
→Jon Cooper, center

Not the biggest center (6-foot-2, 290 pounds), but footwork and speed work in his favor.

→Nic Harris, strong safety

Future in the league might be at outside linebacker.

→Lendy Holmes, cornerback

Future in the league might be at cornerback.

→Juaquin Iglesias, wide receiver

Had stellar Senior Bowl; now will try to keep the momentum going at the Combine.

→Manny Johnson, wide receiver

Because of smaller stature (5-11), needs to prove he can run this weekend.

→Phil Loadholt, offensive tackle

Has the size (6-8, 350) that is coveted at tackle by NFL teams.

→Duke Robinson, offensive guard

OU’s best chance of a Sooner going in the first round.

→Brandon Walker, offensive guard

Will try to prove he should’ve been on the initial Combine invite list.

NFL Scouting Combine schedule
→Saturday: Offensive linemen (Jon Cooper, Phil Loadholt, Duke Robinson, Brandon Walker), specialists, tight ends

→Sunday: Quarterbacks, wide receivers (Juaquin Iglesias, Manny Johnson), running backs

→Feb. 23: Defensive lineman, linebackers

→Feb. 24: Defensive backs (Nic Harris, Lendy Holmes)

→TV: The NFL Network will carry live workouts, beginning at 10 a.m. each day, with Rich Eisen, Charles Davis and Mike Mayock providing analysis. Player press conferences will be aired live Thursday and Friday beginning at 1:30 p.m. both days.


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