The honor of being selected to this year's Shrine Bowl team is something that 2011 Fairfield Central High LB Ralph Cooper takes lightly. We caught up with the Illinois commit recently to talk about the upcoming all-star event and more.
"I have dreamed of playing in this game ever since my first varsity practice. My first reaction was what a great honor it is to be considered one of the best players in the state of South Carolina."
Looking ahead to the week of practice and eventually the game on Saturday afternoon Cooper shared his initial thoughts.
"I'm looking forward to meeting and getting to know all of my teammates. To go out there and compete with them and get better with them all."
The Fairfield Central standout worked hard last offseason to improve his stock and he believes he improved a great deal in a few specific areas of his game.
"I believe that I've improved more on my coverage abilities and avoiding blocks."
Cooper gave Illinois his verbal commit back in October and says that there aren't as many schools out there that are still actively recruiting him due to that commitment.
As for the game Cooper talked about what South Carolina fans can expect from him during the all-star game on Saturday.
"South Carolina fans can look forward to me being a leader and doing whatever it takes to put my team in position to be victorious."